Careers Advice

What's on Your Christmas List?

We know it’s tempting to nap every day and fill up on tasty treats, but the holidays are also the best time to start thinking about your career goals.

Published: 22/12/2015

Is 'a job' on your Christmas list this year?

We can bet that, like us, you have been super busy right up until now. Sitting final exams, handing in those pesky essays, juggling part-time work and study…

But, while the holidays are the best time of the year to relax and wind-down, it’s also wise to reflect on the past year and plan for the future. Here are some key things to do this festive season to tick off your Christmas wish for a 2016 job!


A benefit of Christmas time is that there are lots of events and parties to go to. The holidays are a great time for networking with professional contacts or long lost friends – reply to those invites, and send some of your own out too. When you meet people, ask what’s going on in their lives and workplaces – you might get a tip about an upcoming job, or the piece of advice you were looking for.

Why not send a few Christmas cards out, or reach out to old colleagues/classmates online? It won’t take too long to do, and the reward could be a calendar full of useful meetings and events to brighten up January!

Research Employers

An important factor that you will face throughout your career path is to decide what you want from an employer. This involves taking the time to do some research. Get in your Christmas onesie, grab some festive snacks, and start with Google. But don't stop there - use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, news articles, staff blogs, and more to find out about the employers you are interested in.

After your marathon researching session, you will know all about the company for future job applications, as well as knowing if the company fits your own values and personality. What are your values?

Polish your CV and LinkedIn profile

You’ve been working away on your degree, or in your job, and you now have the chance to take a step back and think, ‘what have I been achieving?’ Add these achievements and new skills/competencies to your CV and LinkedIn profile. Make sure to have the ‘Notify your Network’ button set to ‘Yes’ on LinkedIn, so everyone can see your new improved profile.

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, why not get one now? LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with over 90 million members worldwide, and it's free to join!

Advice for students here: Your LinkedIn Profile

Review your Skillset

Use some of this time to think about the skills you have gained over the past year, and those that might be missing or you wish to enhance. For the skills you have gained, prepare strong STAR examples of where and when you used them, and write them down for applications and interviews.

For the skills you think you’re missing, plan out how you can gain them over the next year. Are there any experiences, roles, or events that would help? Will you be seeing a relative during the holidays that would have advice on a certain topic? Note down your thoughts, then use these to start a plan!

Create a Plan

The end of the year is also the time to start thinking about your priorities for the future. In the lead up to the bells, we all tend to think about what the next year will bring. As your job will inevitably be a big part of your life, it’s vital to start thinking of a plan for your career (especially if you are anticipating major changes such as a graduation, or switching jobs).

Explore what you think the next year will hold, and where you want to be/what you want to be doing. How will you achieve this? SMART is a proven method to create objectives that you can achieve more effectively. Create goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Think about little goals that you can start with, and build up to bigger achievements throughout the year. Remember to reflect on these goals when you achieve them – you’ll increase your confidence, and improve your self-awareness, too.

Let us know how you get on, and remember to reach out to your Careers Service for expert advice!


Register a free ScotGrad account, sign up for email alerts, and apply to our paid placements today.