Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa's Elf or Solitaire? Use the Holidays to Your Advantage!

    Business tends to slow down during the holidays, no matter where you work – unless, of course, you are one of Santa’s elves! But the most successful people are those who recognize these lulls in productivity as being great opportunities to otherwise bolster their careers.
    That’s right. You could sit at your desk and play solitaire on your computer with your extra time, or you could think about ways to use the holiday season in order to position yourself for that next step up in your career. This is a great time to catch the eye of your higher ups and to prove your value as an employee over the long haul. Here’s how:
  • Jovial Spirit: Everyone is in a good mood around the holidays. Or at least, most everyone. Sure, there is always a Grinch in every crowd – but for the most part, spirits are lifted during the holiday season. Take advantage of that and play to the good moods of those around you. Use those boosted spirits to make friends around the office and endear yourself to your peers. Supervisors are also more likely to notice quality work when they are feeling light and undistracted. So taking on extra projects without being asked to do so could get their attention focused right on you.
  • Networking Opportunities: Between holiday parties and after-work happy hours, opportunities for networking are at an all-time high during the holidays. Even just an impromptu gathering in the break room around a plate of homemade cookies could prove to be your ‘in’ to an opening you otherwise may not have known about. Don’t say “no” to any invitation your receive. Instead, prepare to start rubbing elbows with your higher ups and to make connections outside your office as well – you never know how those connections could benefit you in the future.
  • Watch Yourself: Have fun, and take advantage of all those increased networking opportunities and good moods. But don’t, whatever you do, become the company lush. There is always one who emerges every holiday season, and people spend the entire next year laughing about their behavior at the holiday party. You don’t want to be that person. Not only can it completely mar your reputation at work, but it can also make it difficult to be taken seriously moving forward.

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