3 Simple Steps to Minimize Career Stress Over the Holidays

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The holiday season is upon us, along with the season of layoffs.  As if this time of year wasn’t stressful enough, with projects to finish, shopping to get done, events to schedule, and more, with the end of the fiscal year coming up fast, this is also the time of year companies make decisions about budget cuts and layoffs.  On the other hand, companies also take this time to fill openings before the New Year begins.

So rather than worry and wonder and wait for things to happen, here are 3 simple steps you can take between now and the end of the year to minimize your career stress.  You can still be in control of your career.

1 – Update your resume.

Whether or not you are actively looking for work, now is a great time to pull out your resume and update it.  Add in your recent accomplishments, special project work, and, of course, promotions!  Update your training with any seminars, conferences or classes you’ve taken.  Note any special skills or technical tools you’ve learned.  And don’t forget to remove items that create the perception that you are old or your skills are out of date.

2 – Update your LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn.com is often considered as a professional social networking tool, useful for more than just looking for work.  If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up before the end of the year.  Take the time to update your profile, including a professional looking headshot (as in a photo of you looking your professional best, a photo of your head, maybe shoulders, but not the rest of you).  Update your skills, status, and summary sections.  Go through your connections and make a few new recommendations or endorsements for others to strengthen your online network.  Add a few new connections you’ve met over the past months or year.  Then pick a few connections and send them a personalized message asking for a recommendation or endorsement of your skills.

3 – Set up alerts on job search boards.

Job boards that search other job boards like www.SimplyHired.com and www.Indeed.com are my personal favorites, because they do a lot of work for you.  If you are actively looking for work, they can search for leads while you sleep.  Just set them up to email you daily with leads for the type of work you are looking for.  If you are not actively looking, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the job market.  Find out what positions are out there for you, what skills are in demand, and what the current rate of pay is.  Schedule the job boards to email you weekly so you can stay abreast of your field and your industry.

It may be the season for busyness, stress, and layoffs, but you can stay in control of your career and job search by taking time for these three simple steps.  If these feel like too much to take on, pick just one item to do during the month of December.  What item will you commit to?  I’d love for you to share your commitment below.

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Lori took my old, tired, out of date resume and transformed it into a resume which got results.  In transitioning from owning a business back to the corporate world, Lori asked the tough questions to dig out all the relevant skills and accomplishments which would catch the eye of a potential employer.   One of the first employers to receive my new resume and customized cover letter (created by Lori) called me for a phone interview, followed by a face to face meeting, and finally offered me a job twenty-four hours after the interview.  I'm convinced I would not have even been able to get my foot in the door without my new resume created by Lori.  As I told my wife, retrospectively, spending the money to work with Lori was well worth it.

Howard Kier, Evanston, IL