Federal Careers

Just because you have visions of kicking back, enjoying family and friends, and enjoying some time off, doesn’t mean that all hiring managers and employers are doing the same. While interviewing and hiring may not be as robust as it is at other times of the year, you should not give up looking, applying, or ignoring opportunities that may further your career.

Here are 5 career-related things to consider during December:

1. You may have less competition for jobs you do apply for. Since many people wind down in December or are paying less attention to their careers, your resume better have a better chance to standout since there may be fewer people competing for jobs.

2. If you are off for the holidays, you may have time to update your resume, your LinkedIn, and other career documents. It is hard for many of us to find time to devote to our resumes and online presence in the press of other business. If you’re off for a couple of days, you may want to make time to add your 2019 accomplishments to your resume, take off older jobs, and give your career documents and overall fresher look.

3. Think about how you can use holiday gatherings as networking opportunities. People you run into at various events will naturally ask you about your job. Use these opportunities to practice your elevator speech; meet new people; learn about different companies, organizations, and careers; and practice your small talk skills. And if you don’t want to talk about your job, be prepared to deflect those questions.

4. Use the period to reconnect with former colleagues and contacts. Send holiday cards to those you may have lost touch with—or reach out to them on LinkedIn. Be sure to personalize your cards and any other engagement. And thank those who have helped you to keep those connections fresh.

5. Reflect on your year. What was successful? What was not? Did you achieve your professional goals for 2019? If not, was that because of personal or professional setbacks? Are your goals still relevant for 2020? Make a list of 5 specific professional goals for 2020 and determine how you will meet them. Don’t just do this in your head—write them down; that will help you focus. Even better, share those goals and strategy with a partner to hold you accountable!

December is a great month, filled with joyful distraction for many. Use some of your time to further your career and prepare for 2020!