13 Best Things You Can Do for Your Career Before the Year’s End was originally published on The Muse, a great place to research companies and careers. Click here to search for great jobs and companies near you.
There are 36 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This end-of-year stretch can feel like a black hole for your job search and career. But like an actual black hole, it only seems empty. In fact, it’s packed with opportunities.
We turned to our Muse coaches for their advice on what you can do for your job search, your career, and yourself during this holiday season—as we stare down another letter of the Greek alphabet (hi, omicron?), navigate the Great Resignation, and more.
[RELATED: Need some more personalized help? Book a coach today—pick from Resume Review, 30-Minute Career Q&A, Job Search Strategy, and plenty of other services.]
Here’s what they had to say (tips have been lightly edited for length and clarity).
Network with your family and friends. Even if cousin Natalie isn’t in your industry, it’s who she might know that is just as important. Be sure to detail what you’re seeking. Give a bit of a roadmap, more detail than “Keep me in mind if you hear of anything.” —Muse career coach Tara Goodfellow, owner of Athena Consultants
2. Keep job searching
Many job seekers think that companies pause hiring during the holidays, but in reality, business doesn’t stop. Sometimes hiring picks up to fill headcount before the end of the year. In the past, this could have been dependent on the industry, but this year is different. Companies are hiring, and they need people. —Muse career coach Jennifer Smith, founder of Flourish Careers
Slow down. Take time to reflect on the last two years and set goals for next year. Factor in the way your employer has (or hasn’t) evolved over the pandemic and what else is going on in your industry when considering what’s next for your career. —Muse career coach Heather Yurovsky, founder of Shatter & Shine
4. Prep for reviews
Take an honest inventory of your performance for the year to prepare for performance reviews. I like to keep a folder of all positive and not-so-positive feedback to help me with this every end of year. —Muse career coach Nekpen Osuan Wilson, cofounder and CEO of WomenWerk
5. Say thank you
Reach out to people who’ve been helpful to you (e.g., mentors, networking contacts, colleagues) to let them know how grateful you are for their assistance and support. Holiday cards (physical or e-cards) with special personalized messages are great, but emails and LinkedIn inbox messages work, too. Everyone likes to be acknowledged, and your sincerity will be appreciated. —Muse career coach Heidi Ravis
6. Learn something new
If you have time and energy, it’s a great time to strengthen your skills. Choose an online course that will help you gain a new skill or further your knowledge in a certain area. —Muse career coach Leto Papadopoulos
7. Get it done
Set your priorities. As the end of the year approaches, it can feel like every day slips away quickly and nothing gets accomplished—the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are often a complete blur! Setting two to three top priorities for that time and breaking those priorities up into manageable steps can help keep you on task and can increase productivity. —Muse career coach Cassie Spencer
8. Take care of yourself
Plan ahead, focus on what’s most important, eat right, slow down, take a walk, listen to music, and lean into what gives you joy. —Muse career coach Tina Wascovich
9. Take time off
Take a break! Especially if you’re feeling burned out. Yes, it’s a great time to apply for roles, but if you’re feeling tired and stressed, you will benefit from stepping away for a bit. —Muse career coach Leto Papadopoulos
10. Actually disconnect
Stop replying to emails when you’re out, or when many are out. Some people need to answer emails to feel purposeful. Take time to live your life—the one beyond work emails. The work will still be there in 2022 (and so will the emails). —Muse career coach Anne M. Kelly, owner of AMKcoach
11. Invest in yourself
It’s always a good time to invest in yourself, but if you ever feel you need permission, what better time than during the holidays? Leverage new opportunities to refresh yourself for 2022. Even a small investment will pay dividends. —Muse career coach Heather Yurovsky, founder of Shatter & Shine
12. Cut yourself some slack
We’re all surviving one of the most tumultuous periods in at least the last 100 years. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, remind yourself that we’re all doing the best that we can. Even if you’re not exactly where you want to be professionally, have patience with yourself. You’re a work in progress. —Muse career coach Andrea Gerson, founder of Resume Scripter
13. Don’t forget to celebrate your wins
Pause, reflect, and celebrate all your accomplishments! So many times we rush from one thing to the next, especially during the holidays; remember to celebrate how far you’ve come! —Muse career coach Jennifer Smith, founder of Flourish Careers