It’s that time of year again. The time of year when everything smells like cinnamon and there are kittens and puppies in the window display at Macy’s! You’re headed home and your heart feels like a warm gingerbread cookie.
But, as wrapped up as we get in this time of year, it’s important to remember that it will come to an end and we do have to think about the future. And what will inevitably come in the future? The job search.
So, how can you advance your career while also stuffing your face full of latkes and washing them down with a mug of eggnog?
It may seem like you are putting your job search and career development on hold when you’re home for the holidays, but this is not the case. This break is actually the perfect time to work on both!
Here are four ways your can work on your job search during the holidays:
- Holiday Parties
You know all of those holiday parties that you’ll be attending filled with your parents’ friends? Guess what? Those are actually amazing networking opportunities. It’s the perfect time to “catch up” with your dad’s boss’s wife’s brother and let him know that you’re actually studying to become a pet food taster, too! Most of these people haven’t seen you in about a year and will be happy to hear what you’re up to these days. The first step to finding a job is putting the word out there and these parties are a great time to make it known that you’re interested in a certain industry. Who knows, maybe sometime down the road (after you’ve graduated) one of these acquaintances will think of you when they hear of an available job opportunity.
- It’s Time Off
You’re home and though some evil professors may have given you a few assignments to complete over break, you still probably have a lot of free time that would otherwise be spent trying to stay awake in class.
Why not use this time to start exploring your career options? Check out what comes up on your AfterCollege Explore feed. Then, when you see a career that sounds pretty cool, start doing some research about what it’s like to actually work in that field. This way, when you actually do start applying for jobs, you already have an idea of what type of position and company you’re interested in.
Not to mention this time off is the perfect opportunity to start editing your résumé. Remember, you don’t want to send/bring in any old generic piece of paper. You want to tailor it to the job you’re hoping to get.
- You Can Work Part-Time
The thing about the holidays is that a lot of places (especially in the retail industry) need a little extra help. It may not be in the direct line of the work you want to do, but working part-time in retail when you go home can actually provide you with valuable skills you can use later on in your career. Just check out how having retail experience helped this student get her pharmacy internship. And this woman could never have gotten her job as a visual merchandising coordinator without the retail experience she had under her belt.
- Get Creative With Your Gifts
So, you’re a broke college student who also needs some relevant experience to include on your résumé? No problem! Instead of buying that Tory Burch handbag that would set you back a month’s salary working at your school’s library, offer to set up an Instagram account for your aunt’s interior design business or organize all of your parents’ finances for them. You could offer to sell some of your brother’s unused electronic gadgets on eBay. If you’ve been working on learning the basics of coding, create a personal website for one of your friends!
These gifts will not only be useful to the recipients, but will also provide you with “real life” experience you can share with future employers.
Homework time! Ready to give the holiday job advancement a go? Even though you should be taking advantage of this break as a respite from your full schedule of classes, try out some of the suggestions we’ve listed above. See if you can develop your skills and network all while enjoying the spirit of the holidays.