The holidays – it’s the most wonderful time of year! For many, it can also be the most stressful, especially if you’re worried about your job. With so many seasonal stressors, like the lack of sunlight, shopping for gifts, and the various obligations that pop up, it can be hard to focus on your career goals during this time. Additionally, the common thought is companies are not hiring during the holidays, so why bother?
While hiring tends to slow down in the winter – it doesn’t stop. Here are a few tips to stay in the game during the holidays:
Keep applying – Due to hiring misconceptions and many of the reasons mentioned above, there is a drop in applicants. So even with slightly less job listings, you’ll be facing less competition. Keep that momentum going through the end of the year because you never know when your dream job could pop up.
Network and collaborate – Whether it’s cousins you haven’t seen in a while or old classmates, a lot of people are home for holidays and want to know what is new with you. This a great, low stakes opportunity to practice your elevator speech! Invite someone in your network out for coffee or happy hour to catch up on your projects and/or to look for ways to collaborate.
Take an online course – If you’re looking for a new job or just looking to increase your skills, taking an online course is a great idea. LinkedIn Learning offers a free trial month to take their career-boosting courses taught by industry leaders. These courses are sorted by skills and industry, and many of them are short enough to watch during lunch. In addition, once you complete a course, you can choose to showcase it on your LinkedIn profile.
Keep in mind, temp jobs could turn permanent – The holidays are known for ample seasonal hiring in order to handle the surge in retail business (and busyness). The end of the year is also often the time when managers decide their budgets and hiring needs for the upcoming year. Just because it was initially a contract job doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to be a full-time position. Put yourself out there because you never know what it could lead to! If you are in a contract role and seeking full time, have an honest conversation with your manager about your goals and your desire to stay with the company.
Plan ahead to accommodate business and holiday fun – One way to ease all the stress is to plan it all out. Take a look at your goals, priorities, and commitments, then, break out that calendar! Getting organized and planning your schedule ahead of time allows you to be more intentional with your time and what you’d like to achieve. That being said, make sure to include the fun stuff too!
Take care of yourself – Most importantly, make sure to take care of yourself during the holidays. If what you truly need is rest, then listen to your body and rest. Burnout is very real and so often ignored until it turns desperate. Get some exercise, blast holiday music, hang out with your friends and family – do what you need to recharge.
Ultimately, this frenzied time of year can make people feel overwhelmed, which can seriously diminish motivation. Taking the right steps now to set yourself up for a successful and a productive winter can provide the positive energy you need to hit the ground running in the new year.