November 21st, 2016 by Ellen Bartkowiak

Manage Your Career ChangeThe holidays can be a crunch time for deadlines, budget planning, contract renewals and that fourth quarter surge to make plan.  Add after hour parties, family events and shopping sprees – it’s likely you will lose track of your career change this time of year.  There are 29 days between Thanksgiving and December 24th, and while doing nothing from December 24th through January 3rd is OKAY, below is some career advice for the holidays. Incorporate just one of the below career coaching tips and your career change can survive (even thrive) this Holiday Season!

First, BE THANKFUL

It’s that time of year. If you don’t wake up every morning and count your blessings – try to start, today! According to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, “There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals.” Fueling your mind with gratitude helps you stay positive, which helps you stay focused this time of year when there are so many competing priorities.  A simple exercise is to find ways to say ‘thank you’. For more tips on practicing gratitude, see Dr. Emmons article, “How Gratitude Can help you through Tough Times”

Second, Network

The holidays are a perfect time to strengthen your career network or build a new one!  I talk with experienced professionals all the time who say that they’re either “too busy” or “forget” to make career networking a priority.  It’s just like taking care of a plant; you have to be attentive to it, give it sunlight, water, maybe fertilize it once in a while and admire it!  The same thing holds true with your contacts; spend time with them, give them some nuggets of info, ask them questions – let them speak and most importantly; admire them.  Thank them, recognize them or simply compliment what you notice.  You are already obligated to be present at many events over the holidays, think of ways to build or strengthen your network at each event.  If you, like so many of us, cringe at the word “networking” watch Judy Robinett’s Ted Talk for a 13 minute motivator called “Connect and Create”.

Third, Kick Start Your Career

This could be just the right time to get a jump start on your New Year Career Change.  Whether you make a concrete goal or recommit to one you made last year (or last month) start to think about what it would take to make a career change.  The holidays are a great time to celebrate your successes, build on those successes and make connections with the organizations and people who can benefit from your talents.

Lastly, Your Spiel

Have your spiel ready.  Definition of spiel: your shtick – your 30 second commercial.  What story are you going to lead with?  For a while, I was leading with my injuries so much so that when people saw me, they’d wince and say; “how’s your hip?”  Knowing full well that I would overshare how much pain I was in.  Once I noticed this, I decided to change my story.  I didn’t want to be recognized as the whiny, injured Pilates Instructor.  So I made up a NEW story: “Every day I’m getting stronger!”

This holiday season vow not to lose track of your career goals – be grateful, nurture your network, focus your on what you want and embrace a positive shtick that reflects your character.

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