What will be on your agenda during the Christmas break: relaxation with mince pies, parties and presents? Or a focus on improving your job-hunting prospects? It’s not much of a challenge to do both.
Having a few days off gives you some much-needed distance from work to chill out and celebrate with friends and family. But, whether you’re looking for a job or considering switching careers, timeout can also mean valuable extra headspace to reassess where you’re going, and what you need to do to get there.
Here are a few ways to keep moving with your job hunt over the Christmas break...
Christmas can be a great time to boost - or rekindle - valuable networks. Passing on season’s greetings to old colleagues isn’t just friendly, but may also be a handy reminder to them that you’re still around and would be perfect for a new role they’ve heard about.
Or get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to new faces at parties. Even if these people don’t seem relevant to your work, they might know others who are. After all, you never know who might be able to open up new opportunities.
You’ll only be able to bring your A-game to job-hunting if you showcase your successes. So is your LinkedIn profile working hard to introduce you to valuable contacts? Does your CV reflect your most up-to-date skills and competencies?
If not, over the holidays it’s worth doing some updates to what you put out there. And, along the way, it’ll give you a chance to celebrate your achievements and take stock of how far you’ve come in the last year.
Depending on your circumstances, you might have already decided not to accept the first job offer that comes along. At HR GO, we encourage candidates to be crystal clear on exactly what they want and need from a new employer, alongside the right salary of course.
Perhaps your wish list includes flexible hours, or training and development within a defined career path. Or maybe finding an organisation with a fantastic company culture is the most important thing. Use days off work to your advantage with some time spent thinking - or talking to others - about what matters to you.
Once you know what you want from a new role - or have worked out how you want your career to be different in 2017 - pinpoint the next steps to take. If you know you have some skills gaps, this might include aiming for extra training or mentoring.
It’s then about getting a head start on January’s New Year resolutions by setting goals to hit throughout the year. Keeping those goals small means you’re more likely to stay motivated to achieve them.
Investing time in making yourself a stronger candidate at Christmas will pay dividends in a busy January when there are so many more new jobs out there. But above all, give yourself time to enjoy the festive season.
The most important thing is to feel refreshed and raring to go in the New Year - and be in a stronger position to find your dream job in 2017.