As the calendar ticks down, it can be tempting to lean into the party season, and get sucked into a cycle of relaxing, celebrating, and otherwise winding down along with the waning minutes of the year. But really, this season is one that you can use to your advantage, whether it’s making extra money as a seasonal worker, bulking up your job search readiness for the new year, or stepping up your game at work while everyone else is knocking off early for egg nog happy hours.
Let’s look at some of the career-boosting moves you can make (while still maintaining that holiday cheer).
Your Comprehensive Guide to Seasonal Jobs
Whether you’re in between jobs or simply looking for some extra holiday cash, seasonal jobs are a great opportunity. For these jobs, you’re not in it for the glamour (there may or may not be an elf costume involved, depending on your new gig), but if you have strong customer service skills and can think on your feet during the busiest of busy seasons, get ready to seize the holiday. And while retail is the most common seasonal job this time of year, there are also outside-the-box-store prospects if you’re creative. Our best tips for seasonal work:
Surviving the Holiday Season at Work
If you’re more interested in getting through the next month or two at the job you already have, we’ve got you covered there, too. It can be a tough time of year, with everyone trying to wrap things up to get out the door for the holidays, or even just finding motivation to get through your to-do list while more tempting options beckon. We’ve got your survival guide to getting through the holiday season at work:
And don’t forget that festive minefield, the company holiday party. If you want to keep your work rep intact, here’s what not to do:
Or you can opt out altogether, and skip the chaos in favor of your own private celebration (whatever that may be). We’ve got your excuses ready to go:
5 Festive Ways to Avoid the Office Holiday Party
There are many, many temptations floating around this time of year, and if you’re not careful, they can trick you into making poor decisions, or just plain ignoring your professional obligations or development. You don’t have to become the office Scrooge, but a little extra care and attention to your work right now can go a long way.
How to Maximize Your Holiday Break
How many times can one person watch It’s a Wonderful Life, anyway? You’ll likely have down time at some point during this holiday season, and while you can still make room for the fun or family-related things you want to do, you can also take some of that time to work on your career momentum.
For example, reflecting on the year that just passed is a great time to reflect on what you want to do next. New career path? New job? Want to go for that promotion? While things are a bit slow at work, this is your chance to start formulating your battle plan for the new year. You don’t have to make any definitive decisions, but we’ve got you covered as you start to think about what New Year You will be doing to achieve your goals.
You can also use your break to devote some time and energy to a side hustle or a business idea, if you’re not quite ready to make a career or job jump in the new year. If you have a side hustle in mind, great! You have some time to work on developing it. If you’re not sure yet what you can or want to do, then you have time to figure that out too while you’re tuning out Uncle Phil’s latest fishing story.
The Side Hustle: How to Make Money on the Side
Downtime doesn’t have to be lazy time—think of the break as an opportunity to devote mental space to things that might usually get crowded out by everyday work and routines.
Don't Forget to Keep Up Your Job Search Momentum
If you’re looking for a new job, you might think that there’s not much point to keeping it up over the holidays, when people are less likely to be hiring/in the office/etc. Not true! Even if HR departments are slowing down for the year end, or you’re not seeing as many openings, there are still plenty of things you can do to make sure your hunt doesn’t go colder than Minnesota in December.
Even if you do put our active job search on hold over the holidays, you can put in a little prep and thinking to get yourself ready to hit the ground running come January 1.
And if nothing else, you can always work on your resume!
This is a great time of year to hunker down and perfect your application package for the new year. You can get your resume in tip-top shape, start thinking about those personal and professional anecdotes for interviews, and maybe even find some good holiday sales on a new interview outfit. You don’t have to put your professional development on pause just because everyone else is starting to check out for the year.
Start Your New Year’s Resolutions Early
While many of us wait until the calendar has safely flipped over to the new year, there’s no reason you can’t start thinking about how you’ll ease back into the usual grind (or an improved one).
The more thought and energy you put into your new year now, the more likely you are to stick to your new and improved self after the holidays are but a distant memory.
The holiday season isn’t usually thought of as a hotbed of career activity, but you have tons of ways to make the season work for you and your productivity. After all, year-end fun and celebration are important, but soon enough we’ll all be facing the cold glare of January. And when that comes, you can feel like you’ve set yourself up nicely for the coming year.
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