Navigating the holiday season while at work can be extremely difficult. It’s “the most wonderful time of the year”, but work still beckons. During this time of year, your life is probably being pulled in a lot of directions as it relates to your personal and professional. Holiday parties, company events, pot-lucks, recitals, Secret Santa, the list goes on and on. In order to help you with this chaotic time, I’ve come up with a 2014 Holiday Handbook for Your Career, which can help you stay on your A game whilst at work.
The handbook consists of tips and tools (and reminders) that you can use throughout the holiday season. It covers the months of November, December, and January.
Here we go…
Open Enrollment: If it is currently Open Enrollment at work and new health plan and benefit offerings, you need to read up on the changes and enroll before the deadline. Open Enrollment usually takes place between end of October and middle of December and go into effect at the beginning of the year. Don’t wait until the last minute to enroll, or you may get stuck with a plan you don’t like, which cannot be changed until the next Open Enrollment date.
Vacation Days: If you haven’t submitted your vacation request for time off during the holidays, it may be too late. Check with your HR department to see how many vacation days you have left and if the days you want off are available. If you will lose days not used up at the end of the year, make sure to take them. Waste not, want not.
Holiday cards: If you are in upper management or a senior level professional, then you will probably want to send holiday cards to clients, customers, etc. Make sure to place your order for your personalized business holiday cards before November 15th so you can get them addressed and mailed in a timely fashion.
Thanksgiving Details: Make sure your clients and customers know your Thanksgiving availability and the days you will be off. Set your email auto-responder to reply to emails on the days you are off for the holiday, and also set a voice mail greeting indicating when you will be back in the office.
Information: Make sure that the HR department has all of your updated address information (if it has changed) so that when W-2’s are mailed out at the beginning of the year, you receive them on time and without issues.
Inclement Weather Policy: Make sure that you are aware of the inclement weather policy at your workplace and the appropriate numbers and contacts in case it goes into effect.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and try not to work on your days off.
Holiday cards: Sign and address your personalized business holiday cards and place them in the mail the first week of December (and no later than the 15th). You can use holiday return address labels to help save time.
Calendar: Get a full appraisal of all of the company parties and events for the holiday. Make sure that you have them on your calendar if you plan on participating.
Holiday Party: Make sure you know the details of the company holiday party (date, time, dress code, etc.) and plan for a sitter, your wardrobe, etc. If you need to plan a shopping date to make sure you are fab for the occasion, do so.
Gifts: If you are an executive professional, purchase gifts for your staff and associates in the office.
Secret Santa: Shop for that secret santa gift!
Potluck: Plan what you will be making for the holiday potluck (if your office is having one), or buy something if you don’t have the time or don’t like to cook.
Clients/Customers: Check in with all clients and customers to make sure their needs are met before the Christmas holiday.
Christmas Details: Make sure your clients and customers know your Christmas holiday availability and the days you will be off. Set your email auto-responder to reply to emails on the days you are off for the holiday, and also set a voice mail greeting indicating when you will be back in the office.
Enjoy your Christmas holiday—no work allowed!
Get Fit: Check with your HR Department about wellness plans and incentives. See if you can get reimbursed for those gym membership fees, or better yet, if there’s a discount for employees.
Goal-set: Set your goals in motion for the New Year. Create a vision board or Mind Map to help you achieve your goals.
Promotion: Begin working hard to go after that promotion you’ve been wanting.
Vacation Days: Map out your vacation days for the year and put in your request so you can have the first pick.
Here are some other articles and info that can help you navigate your career through the holiday season:
Still stuck on Fall? Check out my Career Checklist: 6 Things You Need to Do this Fall at Work for tips!