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Level Up Your Career During the Holiday Downtime

Abraham Mendieta | December 16, 2022

December is packed with holidays, with people taking time off to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays. Many people see the time off as a well-deserved break, but if you’re on the hunt for a new position, it can also be a prime time for professional development. Job seekers often pause their career development efforts during the winter holidays, assuming employers will be focusing on end-of-year business. However, many employers continue hiring regardless of the time of year.

Although hiring numbers traditionally drop during December, hiring is still a year-round activity. And for job-hunters, the market is ripe with opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4.6 million more job vacancies than available workers in December 2021.

Whether your goal is upskilling for a promotion, finding a new employer or jumping into a new industry, the holidays are a great time to move forward on your career path or, at the very least, lay the groundwork for tackling next year’s goals.

What can you do to pursue your professional growth after the turkey has cooled but before the ball drops in Times Square? Here are three ideas that can make a big impact.

More time, more applications

Use those extra days off to submit applications. Response times and interview schedules may be slightly drawn out during the holidays, but you’ll have an advantage over job seekers who take time off from the job hunt and you’ll capitalize on the temporary drop in competition.

Refresh your resume or LinkedIn

Keeping resumes and professional networking profiles up to date requires time and effort, both of which can be in short supply the rest of the year. Over the holidays, use some of that open bandwidth to review the information you present to potential employers. Update them with new roles, achievements or certifications you’ve achieved during the past year.

Review your career goals

The holiday season is also a great opportunity to simply step back and survey your career. With a lighter schedule, it’s a natural time to reevaluate your goals and adjust your strategy accordingly.

One way to do that is with the SMART method! It’s a great system for analyzing goals, whether they’re for personal, professional, individual or group-based efforts. To use this popular technique, simply ask yourself these questions:

  • Specific — Is your goal clear and specific?
  • Measurable — Is your goal quantifiable or trackable?
  • Achievable — Is your goal possible?
  • Relevant — Is it aligned with your end goal?
  • Timely — What is the timeline and deadline for the goal?

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is almost one-tenth of the year! Between roasting the turkey and giving gifts, take some extra time to season your LinkedIn profile, upgrade your resume and let prospective employers know that there’s only one thing on your holiday wish list: career growth!

At Paycom, we’re looking year-round for individuals who want to take their career to the next step. Want to learn more about a career at Paycom? Apply today!

About the author
Author picture, Abraham Mendieta
Abraham Mendieta
As an employer brand marketer, Abraham Mendieta helps the recruiting teams engage top talent and increase brand awareness. Mendieta is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned degrees in both sociology and advertising. His efforts on Paycom’s employer brand team include company culture; careers; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Outside work, Abraham enjoys reading, going to the gym, spending time outdoors and hanging out with his family and friends.