Usually there’s a little lull in December after the festive season here in the UK. This is the perfect moment while your brain is relaxed to make sure your career ends on a high this year. Follow these tips and you’ll feel so smug, sorted and ready to hit the ground running in January again!
1.Review 2017. Take time to do some career stock-taking whether you have been employed or job searching. Ask yourself: -What has gone well? -What are you proud of? -Where have you been resilient? -Where have you been innovative? -What could have gone better? -What have you avoided doing? What do your answers tell you about what you want to more of or less of during the coming year?
2.Update your CV before you forget about your proud achievements of this year. Do include quantifiable results wherever possible. Seek out informal feedback from those you have worked with about what they identify as your key skills and qualities. This is usually a good confidence builder and may help confirm a career route you want to take during the coming year.
3.Thank the Top 10 people individually who have been key to your career this year. This might include your manager, suppliers, clients, current or former colleagues, connections you’ve gained via LinkedIn or someone you met at an event or conference. Most people are happy to help you but they also like to be appreciated.
4.Use the December festive season to do some purposeful networking. Other than those people with year end deadlines and budgets, most people are in more relaxed mode once we reach the middle of this month. Use this time wisely and make an effort to catch up with contacts you haven’t seen for a while. You could even organise a gathering of former colleagues for Christmas drinks and use this as an opportunity to find out where they are up to career wise, what’s happening in their sector and organisation. Be interested in others and see if there’s any way you can help them too, to reciprocate.
5.Make a career plan for the coming year. Create a personal Mind Map for yourself to help you to identify where you want to head in the coming year. What would you personally like to achieve during the coming year? What about learning? Professional Development? Volunteering?
6.Read something inspiring. Right now you can be gathering together interesting articles or books you’ve been meaning to read about your functional area, sector or careers in general. A client of mine recently found ͞Snap, crackle or stop: Change your career and create your own destiny͟ by Barbara Quinn to be a reassuring read and suggested I mention it to others. Between Christmas and New Year I’m planning to dip into ͞The Culture Map͟ by Erin Meyer, and ͞Deep Work͟ by Cal Newport.
7.Save money buying Christmas presents and share your talents instead. Final tip, particularly if you are job searching at the moment and don’t want to spend too much this Christmas, find ways to help others for free. If you have valuable listening skills invite a friend for coffee and take time to focus on them. Share and swap your strengths and kills with others –whether that’s in baking, website design, research, language skills, photography, video making, motivating and inspiring others or whatever!
If you would like any help and advice with ending your year on a career high then do get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org