Friday, December 21, the first day of winter.
In the winter, it’s darker and colder. We stay inside. Layers are necessary. The busiest of us embrace a less stressful and demanding work schedule. The healthiest of us eat and drink as if calories aren’t a thing.
Sounds comfy? Yes. Fun? Yes. And slightly unproductive? Yes.
When it comes to a seasonal creativity slow-down, you don’t have to resign yourself to being a slacker until January.
Embrace Moments of Transition
Life transitions demand that we change more than our roles or outer activities. They demand that we change from the inside out.
Time to Take Action
Winter is the time when the structure of our typical workday softens, and the people who form our teams and work families take days off to spend time away from the office.
I encourage you to take advantage of the “slow-down,” and conjure up goals to make 2019 the year you advance your career, your love life, your confidence, and so it goes.
Carve out “me” time to contemplate your career. Think about where you’d like to be in five years. In ten years. Define your career aspirations. What’s the next job or promotion you’d like? Research what it will take to be successful. What knowledge, skills, education and experience are necessary?
Write-out your elevator pitch. Create a bio or elevator pitch that focuses on the value you aim to provide to customers and clients. Rather than stating that you’re a photographer with five years of experience, for example, you could say that you help professionals look great in their headshots, make the shoot a fun experience and turn the photos around in a day.
Network more. Holiday networking events are more casual. If you typically feel uncomfortable at networking events, these more relaxed settings can feel less intimidating. Moreover, during the holidays people tend to be more charitable and therefore more open to helping someone. Your goal for these events should be to make true connections with people, not simply pass out a bunch of business cards.
Start a side-hustle. A side-hustle enables you to earn a second source of income doing something you love, while keeping your full-time job. It also offers income security, as technology continues to transform industries and jobs. A side-hustle can end up as a part-time or full-time job. But starting small doesn’t prevent you from thinking big. Companies like Spanx, Instagram and Apple all started out as side-hustles – just sayin’.
Clean up your online presence. We live in a world where the average person’s attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. You have about eight seconds to get someone to notice you and connect with them before they’re off to do something else. Use this time to work on, clean up and leverage your online platforms. On LinkedIn, you can highlight your professional expertise and latest customer reviews. On Facebook, you can create a business profile, delete/hide those “inappropriate” college pictures, and participate in different groups. On Instagram, you can show how you embody your core values through your lifestyle. Use social media to network, collaborate, share advice – put yourself out there and build a presence.
Do a self-evaluation. Sit down with a cup of coffee – or in my case, a matcha latte – on a weekend morning when you’re energetic and clear-minded. Your career and personal development is well worth the effort, so don’t skimp on the amount of time you allow yourself to write your self-evaluation. Brainstorm a list of your strengths and the tasks or skills you enjoy the most. Feeling good? Then take a few deep breaths, let go of your ego and emotions, and take an honest look at areas where you could improve.
2019 is your year to excel, make more money, improve your self-confidence, and so on. There is no need to build the whole house, just get started and the house will build itself. As the old saying goes: Rome wasn’t built in a day. A year from now, you’ll say you should have started last year – the time is always going to be now, so make the most of it.
Happy Holidays, y’all!
Thanks for reading!