Use the Holidays to Achieve Your Personal Goals

Tis The Season To Be Social

Thanksgiving is a time to reach out and thank those around us. It’s also a time of year when employees get laid off leaving them wondering what they’re supposed to be thankful for?

If you’re one of these (or even if you’re not), take a deep breath and keep reading because, instead of using the holidays to hunker down with food and drink while complaining about your situation, you can use this time to be social.

7 Steps to Use the Holidays to Achieve Your Personal Goals

The next six weeks are a great time to start building momentum towards your personal goals, whether you’ve just been laid off or just want to make changes in your life. During the holidays, people are more willing to talk and socialize. It’s a little known secret that it’s a great time to get out and connect because there’s less competition for people’s attention. Don’t wait for January 1st when everyone’s trying to start their year off with a bang.

  1. Pump yourself up. Do a self-assessment to determine what you’ve done that you’re proud of and what special experience you bring to an employer. List those achievements where you pushed yourself to the limits and succeeded. Don’t limit yourself to work situations. Define the problem, action and result. Where possible, show how much improvement was made.
  2. Set your goals. Write your goals down across all aspects of your life including job, family, health and fitness, financial, spiritual and any other categories that are important to you. Establish objectives across these categories for five year increments. The objective is to determine where you want your life to go. Hope by itself won’t get you there. You need baby steps. Don’t assume that you have to keep doing what you’ve been doing.
  3. Create a routine. Holidays throw everyone’s schedule off. This is particularly important for people who get laid off where you can feel like you’ve lost more than a job but the defining element of your life. Decide how you’re going to structure your time. Include exercise to relieve stress whether you go to the gym or take a walk. Also, do something special for yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re not working, it can be sleeping an extra half hour, picking your child up at school or having a coffee at a café.
  4. Position yourself. Using your stories and your goals, go through your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to enhance them to reflect where you want your career and life to go. This doesn’t mean you get to make up your past or misrepresent what you’ve done. Bear in mind that social media is about transparency and being truthful.
  5. Get on top of the news. You need to become a resource for others. Instead of sending, please-do-you-know-anyone emails to weak contacts, you can share useful news with still-employed people in your field. This is particularly helpful if you mention them and/or their firm. To this end, get an RSS reader and fill it with the main resources in your areas of interest if you don’t have one already. Also, sign up for HARO (aka Help A Reporter Out). It’s a rich source of reporters looking for specific resources. Send these PR leads to your contacts where appropriate.
  6. Connect with colleagues. This is particularly important if you’ve been laid off but have your job through the end of the year. Use the holidays as an excuse to catch up and see what they’ve been up to. Remember everyone loves to get attention. This is about them not you. Use whatever methods you’re known for using. If you always send email, do that. Don’t overlook the lower level people you know.
  7. Build your social media platform. Regardless of the current state of your social media connections, start building out your base across a variety of platforms. You want to connect with people selectively, however, because connecting with the entire world all at once sends a big message that you’re in job search.

Being proactive and taking steps to position yourself for the future is important for creating a sense of self worth, which can be difficult during these holidays when you’re surrounded by people who seem better off than you are. You can accomplish your goals if you have a realistic plan for getting there.

Do you have any suggestions on how to attain your personal goals? If so, please add them in the comment section.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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