The holiday season brings all sorts of opportunities to further your career, whether you’re employed or unemployed. Maximize this time by meeting new people, connecting with old friends and keeping your skills strong. We’ve put together some career tips for the holiday season:
Keep your job search momentum going. You may think that the holiday season is a slow time for hiring and therefore you can take a break. In fact, it could be the best time to get your name out there. Sure, some companies may have slowed their hiring for the year (most do not, by the way), so by being one of the few who keep your job search going through the holidays, you’re more likely to be top of mind come the New Year.
Take advantage of sales. Need a new suit? Shop now! Self employed an need business cards? Printing companies often have sales during this time to encourage buying of holiday cards and gifts. Check out sites like Moo for special offers. Gift cards to a clothing store or printing company are also great gift ideas for the job seeker in your life.
Attend holiday parties. Holiday parties are prime opportunities to network, whether you’re employed or you’re a job seeker. If you’re employed, your company’s holiday parties are great opportunities to connect with colleagues and higher-ups. You never know, chatting about a project you’ve been working on could lead to a promotion! Bonus – you’ll help these same people put a face to your name!
If you’re unemployed, try to attend every party you’re invited to. Not invited to (m)any? Check out networking groups on Meetup.com for their holiday get-togethers. You’ve heard this many times before – networking is key in getting a job!
Volunteer. The holiday season offers many opportunities to volunteer your time and skills. Students are off of school, so you can take this time to tutor/teach new skills to those studying your industry. Doing so will help keep your skills strong. Organizations handing out meals, presents and the like may need extra hands as well.
You can also look into getting a temp job to help companies cover vacations or retail stores looking for extra help.
Connect with family and friends. Send holiday wishes to family and friends. The holidays are a great time to reconnect with old friends and family you haven’t talked to in a while. Strengthen this connection throughout the year by setting up coffee chats and discussing each other’s hobbies, careers, family, etc. Rekindling old friendships could lead to career connections.
Heading to the in-laws or talking to an aunt you haven’t seen in a while? Engage in small talk! Now you’ll have a solid answer to “So, what have you been up to?” Depending on your comfort level, you can answer with, “Well, actually I’m looking for a new opportunity to further my career in…”
Finally, don’t stress too much! Relax and enjoy your time off and your time with family.