December is the perfect time to recharge your batteries. The holidays can also set you on the path to an improved you or even a new career, and ensure you’re happier at work in the New Year.
Using your break constructively will inspire you to return to work in the right frame of mind. That’s good for your wellbeing and your career.
- Cheerio. Let go of anything that has stressed you out in 2015 such as that missed promotion. Look for things that happen a lot that you can say “goodbye” to.
- Hello: As well as saying “goodbye”, what could you say “hello” to? A new job? A new course? Even a new mentor to stretch you for the year ahead.
- Thankyou: Think about who has supported you this year and acknowledge those people. “We want to have these career cheerleaders or ambassadors to support us again and a thank you note, not an email, can go a long way,” says Blanshard.
Whatever you do, don’t launch into full scale planning mode. “Have a break. Reflect, notice, absorb and acknowledge.” If you’re really brave you could throw in a digital detox to leave the frenzy of life and work behind for a few days. Try switching your email off, having a phone free day, or abandoning your computer for the week.
Whether you cast away the technology or not, try a few of these career boosting ideas once you’ve recharged your batteries:
Evaluate your year. Reflection is a very powerful tool and can help you get smart emotionally. List your 2015 achievements and those things you could have done better. Focus on what you do well to avoid being harsh on yourself. 2016 is another year and another chance to do better.
Do online training. If improved skills and qualifications could help you, then take the time to research appropriate courses. Don’t rush your coursework. You don’t want to burn out.
Read. As well as putting your feet up with a good novel over the holidays, read to maximise your industry and general career knowledge. A few new ideas under your belt could transform your 2016.
Start your fitness regime. Being fit and healthy will help you with the mental and physical aspects of your role, however you choose to undertake it.
Network. Holidays need to be holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the time to catch up with old work friends and good customers. Send them an email in early January or pick up the phone and do some good old fashioned talking.
Create a 2016 plan. Wait until the New Year when you’ve had a rest and write a plan of what career goals you want to achieve in 2016 and the steps you’ll take to get there.
Taking a break at the end of the year is important for everyone. But finding a balance between getting rested and being constructive will ensure you start 2016 on a refreshed and positive note.