Mall Santas aside, hiring activity tends to slow down in December. But rather than settling down for a long winter’s nap, there’s plenty you can do in December that will set you up for career success come January. I’m making a list, and you should check it twice!
- Sit down for self-evaluation. Remember what you wanted to accomplish this year. If you accomplished it, think about what you did that made you successful. If not, try and identify areas where you came up short and what you might do to address them. Also, ask yourself where you want to be at this time next year. Does this mean some changes where you are—some new responsibilities or a new title, perhaps? Or is this the year you take that leap and start looking for new opportunities?
- Research technologies and trends. LinkedIn, blogs, forums, and Google will have lots of articles on what’s expected for 2019. Are there any companies or industries that are expected to boom or bust? Keep an eye on that. Check job boards for jobs similar to yours to see what technologies are listed in the description. If a new version of something you use is scheduled to be rolled out in 2019, read up on it now so you can be an expert when the time comes for implementation! But if a big 2019 release is scheduled and you’re still using the 2012 version, find out if there are plans to upgrade because it’s definitely time. You could be an evangelist for the new technology within your company. You might conclude that the best opportunities to use the latest and best technologies lie outside your company, and start looking.
- Network internally. Does your company have a big holiday party? If you’re wanting to learn more about career paths or upcoming projects, this can be your chance to rub shoulders with those who are in the know. Make a little small talk in a nonthreatening situation like this, and then follow up in more depth later on. Just don’t have TOO much spiked egg nog.
- Network externally. Some meetup groups or companies will have holiday networking events or open houses. Check them out! Seek out people you want to connect with, and see also who they can introduce you to. This too is a nonthreatening setting to pick people’s brains and can lead to more substantive conversations later on.
- Chat with your friendly neighborhood recruiter. Shameless self-promotion time! With my job board a little slim around the holidays, I like to check in with candidates I’ve been in touch with during the past year. Answer my call, or call me! Let’s catch up about your 2018 and what you’re looking for in 2019. I can talk about potential opportunities I know will be coming up and give you some market intel. If you’re planning to make a move, I can help get your resume ready. Even if you’re not planning to make a move, it’s always good to cultivate relationships with recruiters for when that time comes, and this is a great time to reconnect.
- Decompress a little. You’ve been working hard all year, and nothing gets you ready for 2019 than ending 2018 by taking time for yourself. Spend time with loved ones, watch movies, have a getaway to a far-off location or to the couch.
Best wishes to everyone for a meaningful December that sets you up for a successful and prosperous New Year!