How Christmas Can Get You Clearer Career Goals

Reaching your next career goal might be right at the top of your Christmas list this year.  So how do you plan to make your Christmas wish come true over the festive period? Completely switching off from all things work-related over Christmas won’t harm will it!??

Be warned….unless you’re expecting a Christmas miracle, you’re career goals will be at a complete standstill come the new year.  Instead, why not keep your career at the forefront of your mind and use the festivities to your career advantage.

Here are some ideas on how to stay focussed on your goals during Christmas, without spoiling the party atmosphere.

1. More meaningful conversations

A popular conversation filler at Christmas parties is, “How’s the job is going?”.  Resist the urge to be lazy and answer with “Oh, it’s fine…”.  Instead, embrace the fact that this person is being sincere and seize this opportunity to create a more meaningful Christmas conversation.

Describe your hopes and fears for your career in the coming year.  Convey why career growth is so important to you and articulate the career you really want and when you want it.  Listen for questions and as the conversation starts to flow, notice how clarity starts to appear.  Your career plans will naturally start to take shape.

You won’t always get a completely balanced view from family and friends (particularly during the season of good will!) but you might get some new ideas worth exploring.

2. Celebrating achievements

During those quieter times over Christmas, grab a pen and paper and list your achievements for this year.  What do you look back on with pride? 

Reflect on your top achievements from January right through to December and note the key strengths you’ve shown.  But that’s just your perspective….

When you’re surrounded by family and friends get their view too – it’s the ideal time of year to do this!  Ask your nearest and dearest what they view as your biggest and best achievements and compare and contrast these, to what’s on your list.  What new and unexpected strengths have others highlighted in you?

Notice the confidence boost you get?  Why not return the favour?  Tell others what you notice that they’ve achieved this year and what you their strongest points are.  Christmas is a time of giving and receiving after all.

3. Engaging with inspirational people

Christmas events are the perfect time to recognise those people who really inspire and motivate you.  Engaging with these inspirational people helps your future career plans on so many levels including:

  • When you need to stay motivated especially during the tough times, these people keep you on track.
  • They go above and beyond to connect you to the right people and places.
  • They support you to think differently or more creatively when you believe that all options are exhausted.
  • When you simply want someone to look up to and believe that you can achieve exactly what you want from your career.

At your Christmas parties, dinners and work gatherings take a moment to pinpoint the people you admire and respect the most.  They may well be those within your workplace or perhaps someone you’ve not previously considered as a potential mentor within your friend or family circle.

Whatever the connection, engage with them directly, raise a festive glass and say thanks for their positive influence on your career to date.  How else could they help you to plan and achieve your career goals?

4. Sharing your knowledge

It’s great to keep a sharp eye on your own career development over the festive season.  But bear in mind that as a new year approaches, countless others will be considering a career change too.  It’s both gratifying and motivating to support others with their career aspirations.  So use keen listening skills to understand what they need, offer your knowledge and share your network.

A little encouragement goes a long way and as you progress your career journey, you may need their support and they’ll be more than willing to lend a hand.

 

Enjoy the Christmas festivities whilst keeping a watchful eye on those opportunities to explore your career goals with those around you.  You’ll find yourself well ahead of the game for 2017.

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Tammy Windsor

Tammy is a professional coach, trained at post-graduate level and also holds Ph.D in Pharmacology. She spent 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry leading global clinical teams as well as supporting strategic and culture change across these organisations.

Tammy founded InnovaCoaching after seeing the significant and positive impact of change on individuals and organisations which coaching and mentoring provides,.

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