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Whether you’re looking for a new job or planning to move up in your current position, now is the perfect time to focus on your career. Between use-it-or-lose-it vacation policies, inclement weather, and time off during the holidays, many people find themselves with additional free time during the winter.
Here are five ways to make the most of your time off and keep your professional life going forward.
Take a break: It may seem counterproductive, but give yourself permission to relax. A few days off can change your perspective, especially if you spend the time doing something you enjoy. You’ll come back to work or the job hunt with a refreshed viewpoint.
Update your résumé: Make changes to your résumé that reflect expanded job duties, additional volunteer work, or continued education. Double check that everything is current and take extra time to check for typos. Check out these tips to get your résumé into shape.
Write a new cover letter: Cover letters are a way to summarize your goals and strengths. Writing one can be a succinct way to prioritize your goals, even if you’re not planning to make a career move soon. Having a polished cover letter available also comes in handy if a dream position or promotion should become available. Not sure where to start? Check out these 30 power words that can help your letter get noticed.
Check out social media: If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, create one to connect with other professionals in your industry or the industry you’d like to work in. LinkedIn is a great place to find out about local networking events, and showcase your job skills. Also use this time to check your Facebook privacy settings and remove any questionable content a potential employer might see on your profile.
Sort through your wardrobe: Clean your closet and give those items that no longer fit your professional goals to charity. Dress for Success and Career Gear, national organizations that help disadvantaged women and men reach their goals of self-sufficiency by providing them interview clothes, provides receipts for tax-deductible donations. Take the time to try on your clothes to determine what you like, don’t like, need to have tailored, or sent to the dry cleaner. Replace essential items and organize your closet or dresser for speedier prep time on busy mornings.
These are just a few examples of how you can still be productive, but relaxed, during free time. A few minutes spent on tasks like these can reduce anxiety when you’re faced with a job interview or pivotal moment in your career. You’ll feel more confident and prepared, a terrific start to propelling your career.