Many of us shift into autopilot as the holidays hit high gear, keeping our noses to the grindstone to get through the end-of-year push. Consequently, the handful of career opportunities to further ourselves professionally during this time of year go largely unnoticed, making it a prime time to advance your career whether it’s in the hunt for an entirely new job or growing in your current position.
Here are four opportunities for you advance your career before closing the books on 2018.
4 Ways to Advance Your Career by Year’s End
1. ‘Tis the Season to Network
Networking is one of the most essential things you can do to advance your career, and the holidays are absolutely bursting with networking opportunities. Seasonal networking events and holiday parties are an obvious place to start. However, if you really want to separate yourself from the pack, you are going to need some one-on-one time with the people who are key to furthering your processional aims.
If their jobs don’t involve substantial year-end activity, managers tend to have more availability during the holidays. Since many of their colleagues and clients are taking time off during the holidays, their phones are ringing less; they have fewer emails; and have less meetings. Take advantage of this by creating opportunities to connect with them by asking to meet for coffee or lunch.
2. Shoulder Additional Responsibility
Generally, this is a busy time of year, affording plenty of opportunities to take on extra responsibilities that allow you to show skills you normally don’t use throughout the year. It also positions you as a team player. If a colleague leaves for vacation, offer to help cover the workload. Step up to help on projects you normally wouldn’t work on. If the holidays happen to be a slower time in your industry, there are still ways to shine like helping with organizational end-of-year tasks.
3. Give Your Online Presence a Holiday Cleaning
Your social media and general online presence is a direct representation of who you are professionally and personally in the real world. Taking time to clean up your online act is especially imperative if you’re looking for a job. However, it still has merit even if you aren’t looking for a change. Take some time to consider how you want people to perceive you professionally and make sure that’s what you’re demonstrating in your online presence. This is essential personal branding maintenance so that people who can help you professionally can see the best you shine through. For this to be effective, consistency is key. Make sure your bio conveys the same experience, values and skills across all the different platforms you use, ensuring that they are up-to-date and professional.
4. Complete a Self-Evaluation
Taking the time to reflect on yourself professionally is critical to advance your career. Evaluating where you are now professionally can help you figure out where you want to go and how to get there. Ask yourself the following – Are you where you want to be in your career? Are you taking steps to get where you want to go? What actions are you taking to seize new opportunities? Make sure to take adequate time to consider these things to gain a fresh perspective and professional clarity going into 2019.
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