Are you working through the holidays this year?Used all your annual leave on that girl’s trip to Bali and regretting it now? Ask yourself, what would Jesus do? Pretty sure he wouldn’t be playing Solitaire or getting a pedicure on his down time. On a very positive note, this can be a great time to set yourself up for success for the coming year and look ahead to 2014 by setting yourself apart from the pack. Here are Naked Ambition's tips for a productive 12 (Work) Days of Christmas.
1. Work on your personal development plan. Very rarely do you have this opportunity to take yourself out of the whirlwind of your workload and take the time to think about courses you would like to take, a mentoring relationship you’ve been meaning to develop or a secondment you want to take up to prepare you for your next role. If you can create a 6 to 12 month plan and get it on paper, this will go a long way to getting you prepared for what lies ahead.
2. Call your customers or other people in your network and say hello. Remember why you taught your parents to text? Because a call invariably turns into a lengthy discussion. But sometimes, this is a good thing. When you have time, take the opportunity to schedule catch-up calls with your clients and colleagues. Begin with small talk, then ask for their thoughts on how things are going or on any ideas you’ve been bouncing around. You’ll build trust and a spirit of teamwork, and you’ll strengthen the relationship.
3. Build your feedback file. This is a very underrated tool that you’ll be so glad you have when it comes to interview for a new role or look for a new job. Go through your emails and files and collate all the positive feedback you’ve received into one place. It’s worth its weight in gold (or Christmas pudding).
4. Eat that giant chocolate Santa in your drawer. Go on.
5. Update your LinkedIn profile. You’ve been meaning to do it for ages. Just do it. And if you REALLY don’t want to – get Naked Ambition to do it for you. We get off on making LinkedIn profiles AH-MAZING. And at a tiny cost to you. Email us for more info.
6. Have a coffee with your old boss or colleague you haven’t spoken to in ages. Keeping up your network can be difficult, but if you’ve got some spare time, use it to connect with someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with but just haven’t had the time. It’s important to document your contact list as well so no one falls off the list . Check out our free downloadable networking tool here: http://www.naked-ambition.com.au/resources/.
7. Attend an industry function or event - There are squillions of these on this time of year and you’re bound to meet someone interesting or at the very least learn about what’s happening in your field.
8. Organise a volunteer day for you and your other colleagues that are working over the holidays. There are plenty of volunteer programs that need great people to help them out during this busy time. If you live in Victoria, check out http://volunteeringvictoria.org.au/volunteer/volunteering-through-work/ as a starting point.
9. Write your succession plan. A succession plan ensures that if you evaporated into a cloud of smoke tomorrow, your organisation would have a written record of exactly how you do what you do. Basically, this takes your job description, then breaks it down and outlines tasks per month. A bit of a yawn but your bosses will love you for it. If this document doesn’t yet exist, create it. It will make your life easier when you leave your job.
10. Document a complicated process. In the same vein, you can get more specific and get the nuts and bolts of an internal process or procedure that seems to mystify people and document it into a simple one or two page step-by-step guide you will look like a hero.
11. Brainstorm on that complex problem you’ve been wanting to solve. If your job requires any kind of brainstorming or creative work, even once in a while, use this downtime to foster creativity during that time. Letting your mind wander can help boost creative ideas. read a bit more about this recent study conducted at the University of California: http://www.nature.com/news/why-great-ideas-come-when-you-aren-t-trying-1.10678
12. Organise your work space. Studies show that your work environment has a profound effect on both your state of mind and productivity. If you don’t use it regularly and it doesn’t help you do your job more effectively, put it away. Keep a few personal items to feel comfortable, but think Zen and uncluttered! So now you’re free to enjoy the last couple of weeks of work safe in the knowledge you have everything covered. Call it a Christmas miracle! Are you stuck in the office over the coming holidays? Have you started making plans for your career in 2014? Drop us a line and tell us your news