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Entries in holidays (4)


Holiday Career Development Series

Last year, I wrote a series on how the holiday season doesn’t have to be a career development wasteland, if you don’t want it to. December and January can be a powerful time for career development.

There are 3 time periods, or natural phases that take place during the Holidays and each phase has its own inherent opportunities. They are:

1. The Social Phase

2. The Reflective Phase

3. The New Beginnings Phase


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Career Development During the Holidays Series: The New Beginnings Phase

Okay. You’ve socialized. You’ve reflected and planned. What’s next?


On what?
Internal career development. Job search. Career change. Increasing your profile and personal brand in your market / community. Launching that product or service. Personal development. Personal or family projects. Health. You name it.

Here are some powerful ideas for getting a strong start to your year:

1. Schedule your year: Major events and milestones. Self-set deadlines for goal achievement. Vacations. Long weekends. Weekly fitness activities. Putting something in your calendar has power.

2. New Year’s Letter: A business, or professional-oriented New Year’s letter can be a great way to get the word out about what you are doing and where you see your market going in 2006. Provide some value. Create a touchpoint with your network and clients.

3. New Year’s Meetings: Follow-up on those meetings you couldn’t schedule during Christmas and book others. Agenda? Kick-off for the year. How can you help. What are they working on. Sharing what your goals and plans are. Works with your network, clients and colleagues.

4. Make Decisions: Have you been procrastinating on making a decision? Career change? Going for a promotion? Starting a new project? Now is a great time to be decisive. Decide yes or no, and then get on with it.

5. Make a Plan: Create a road map for your projects. For your job search. Be clear about next steps. Don’t get stuck at the implementation phase.

6. Take Early Action: Making a strong start to your projects in January / February will create excellent momentum in the first quarter.

7. Remove Roadblocks: Let’s face it. We can have a lot of baggage. Commitments we haven’t delivered on. Unfinished projects. Promises we made but don’t want to keep - with others, and ourselves. My advice is try and clear as much of these as possible. Removing baggage has a powerful way of freeing us up to take on new things. How?
* Decide which you need to follow-up on and which you should abandon, based on your priorities, and take the appropriate action. Perhaps renegotiate some of your deliverables to better fit your current priorities and situation.
* Blitz those that you have committed to completing.

8. Consider Partnering with an Expert: If you aren’t making progress, want to move faster, or want the expertise of a professional, consider getting some help. On your internal career development. Job search. Resume. Career change. Solobusiness. Fitness or financial goals. Investing in ourselves is one of the best investments we can make.

Of course, there are many more ideas. The point of this article, and the previous two in this Career Development During the Holidays Series, is that there is a natural opportunity to make significant strides in your career development during the Holidays.

Happy Holidays!


Career Development During the Holidays Series: The Social Phase

Of course, during the Holidays, you have competing demands for your time and attention. Parties to attend. If you celebrate Christmas, shopping and preparation to do. The lead-up to Christmas is a natural time for socializing. While your schedule may be crammed, there is a career development opportunity.

1. Build Ties within your organization: The Holidays are a natural time to solidify ties within your place of work. Let’s face it. The bonds between colleagues can get stretched. Difficult decisions. Deadlines to meet. Hectic schedules with no time to kick-back and have non-business conversations with your colleagues.

a.) Your Boss: An important relationship and a major opportunity to hopefully deepen an existing positive relationship, or perhaps, establish a personal connection with a boss that you haven’t managed to get to know yet.

b.) Your team: Both with peers and those who report to you, this is a good time to celebrate accomplishments, bond over the hard work you have collectively put in, and have a few laughs. It is a simple thing, really, but it can do wonders.

c.) Friends, Fans & Allies: It is important to have relationships outside of your immediate colleagues. This is a good time to revisit, catch-up, share war stories and plans for the coming year.

d.) People you want to know better…AKA Targets: Perhaps you have made a connection with someone in the organization but haven’t taken the step of booking time with this person. A well-placed offer for a breakfast or lunch might be just the thing to take this relationship to the next step.

2. External Networking: Customers. Suppliers. People in the industry and community who it is important to know. This is familiar territory.

Of course, this is all optional. You may choose to be very selective about how you spend your time right now.

Instead of using that time now during the busy season, consider a phone call, or email, booking something for January. Even if schedules don’t permit now, it is the thought that counts. A New Year kick-off meeting could work very well.

Friendly reminder: This is a great time to practice those active listening skills. Ask great questions about their year, their accomplishments, their plans for the New Year, and what is important to them.


Career Development During the Holidays Series

The Holidays are not a career development wasteland. In fact, December & January are a powerful time for career development. There are 3 time periods, or natural phases that take place during the Holidays and each phase has its own inherent opportunities. They are:

  1. The Social Phase
  1. The Reflective Phase
  1. The New Beginnings Phase

How can you make the most of the Holidays? I will look at each of these in turn over the next day or two.