5 Smart Ways to Spend the Holiday ‘Gridlock’ (& Re-Fuel Your Career!)

By Vicki Aubin - The Rockin' Career Coach

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It’s Thanksgiving! Or Christmas! Or some time in between! You’re in the airport, train station or on the highway…and you’re caught in a lonnnng queue of people / line of traffic, etc.  The road ahead seems endless, so does your patience, and seems like everything’s moving at a snail’s pace! (not helpful).

But WAIT! This IS helpful. Say WHAT!?

Yes! Use the inevitable and uncontrollable ‘downtime’ during your travel to tune and rev UP your career for next year.

Here’s HOW…

Appreciate- Make a list of the top 5-10 people in your life who made a significant, positive impact to your career this year; a boss, colleague, former colleague, recruiter or coach who gave you a great piece of advice, mentored you, helped you on a big project, introduced you to a valuable industry connection, etc….and then THANK them! Send them a brief but gracious email, mail them a thoughtful, handwritten note, or take them out for coffee. Your attitude of gratitude goes a long way, now, and into the future.

Renovate- Take a personal ‘inventory’ of your peripheral career ‘artillary’, and list which ‘pieces’ need upgrading; i.e. a new power suit for meetings (or upcoming job interviews!), a faster, more productive laptop, a new briefcase or suitcase, industry trade publication subscriptions, association memberships, etc….and then go GET’em!

Accelerate- Think of who would make a great Mentor to help accelerate your career growth (if you don’t already have one, or if you’d like an additional one). Possible candidates could include a current or former manager, colleague, industry leader, someone in your desired ‘3 years from now’ role at another company, etc. HINT: And if you don’t yet know them personally, then use LinkedIn to find and connect with them.

Strategize- Think about where you’re at in your job/career right now. Are you happy? Or not? Time to move on? Now’s the BEST time to plan what actions steps are needed to get you where you want to be in 2014. Do your resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile need a tune up or major overhaul? Spend a few minutes reviewing them and making notes. Want professional help and guidance getting you to your career goals sooner rather than later? Research career coaches online, in your LinkedIn network, and/or get recommendations from people you trust.

Investigate- Thinking of transitioning to a brand NEW career or industry in the new year, but not quite sure? Brainstorm your ‘burning questions’, as well as the crucial information and resources you know you need to help you make that decision, be it websites, books, networking events, etc. And, if informational interviews (hint!) are one of them, you can use LinkedIn to find potential interviewers, as well as a broad range of industry knowledge and perspectives.

See? Now all that annoying ‘wait time’ can be put to GREAT use, and can help get you focused, ‘ahead of the curve’ and ready to start off your career in the new year with a BANG!

Do you know you're ready to work with a Career Coach to get you to the next step of your dream career at the start of 2014? If you want that person to be ME, then go ahead and schedule a Career Strategy Session to get started now.

Now, go forth and Rock that Gridlock! ;)

Happy Holidays & Safe Travels!


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