Top 5 Productive things you should do over the Christmas holidays
For many, Christmas is a time to curl up under the covers and hibernate until January and taking time to unwind with friends and family. Taking a few days off gives you in many cases, some well needed distance from work but as many of us have some extra time on our hands it’s a shame not to take advantage of it and stay productive. The Christmas holidays are a perfect time to reassess your career and pinpoint goals for the future.
We have compiled this list of activities that will keep you active, focused and mentally ready to kick-start your career in 2016:
1. Re-assess and plan ahead
This one’s important 365 days a year, planning ahead is even more beneficial when schedules get less busy. From a career perspective it’s important to take some time and ask yourself: “what do you want?” During the Christmas holidays it can be useful to write your thoughts down or talk your career goals over with someone else. This will streamline and provide clarity to your thinking and give you an objective perspective. Create a clear list of between 5 and 10 career needs and wants – and use this as your decision criteria for making career choices. This will give you some perspective into what you want to happen next year, and how you can make it happen.
The Christmas holidays are a great time to catch up on reading, and think beyond work related day-to-day issues. Here is a super list from INC of their best rated top 100 Business Books from 2015 that will help you see larger trends, and your own career, in a new light.
Keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry by catching up on industry specific articles or magazines that you may have not got a chance to read as yet.
Additionally, Ted talks are an entertaining way of increasing your professional knowledge whist also providing food for thought and plenty of inspiration. Stay tuned to our social media channels where every Thursday we share our favourite Ted Talks on leadership, motivation, management and strategy #tedtalkthursdays. Connect with us here.
3. Do a course / update your skills
There are many online training courses you can register with and browse courses that you can complete at any time. Two we recommend and use ourselves are Lynda.com and Udemy.com. Both of these online learning platforms provide very specialist training on a huge array of topics and areas for little cost. Need some additional excel tutorials – Now is a great time to use your free time to your advantage.
The Christmas holidays are the ideal time to carry out some in-depth research on many things that you otherwise would not get the time to do. Do some in-depth research on companies you are interested in and that you would potentially like to work with in the future. Get a sense of how they are doing in the market, how was their year and see if you can connect with any people that could be influential with you obtaining a position there.
Research and analyse your competition. Keep abreast of what your national and international competitors are doing in the market and see if you can come up with some fresh ideas yourself that may be relevant for you and your organisation.
Keep up with your own professional development. Research additional industry courses, qualifications and training you could be doing that may build up your skillset in 2016. Take account of entry deadlines and complete any application forms that may be applicable for registration.
5. Update your LinkedIn profile / CV
After completing point 1 above (Re-assess and plan ahead) the next step is to bring your online profile into line with your career wants and needs for the New Year. Updating your LinkedIn profile/CV takes some time, planning and thought. An apt time to complete this is at the end of year when you are looking back and reassessing your year and you have additional time on your hands. Take note of all the hard work you did this this year, add in your key achievements and KPI’s that were significant. Save the elements that you’re particularly proud of (reports, articles, research projects, etc.) and add them to your profile. By taking these steps you can make sure you hit that critical month for recruitment, January, with all systems go. For further guidance take a look at our checklist for complete LinkedIn profile optimisation which may come in useful.
We hope these few tips will help you stay productive over the holidays. If you have any additional suggestions share them with us in the comments below. Get in touch with us if you would like to discuss career opportunities in the New Year here.