5 Things Successful People Do Over The Holiday Break

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


5 Things Successful People Do Over The Holiday Break
Christine Michal Carter, forbes.com



Last year, 15% of organizations closed their offices completely during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Naturally for overworked,   and exhausted milllennials, when granted the week off they’d prefer to catch up on household and leisure activities, like watching TV and visiting friends at social events.

But as professionals in the early years of their career (and in the early years of financial independence), using all seven days to relax, tend to housework and socialize is not time well spent. These are stagnant activities. Rather, they should spend the holiday break maximizing their time, improving themselves from a professional (and ultimately personal) perspective. Subsequently, after milllennials return from the holiday break they’ll be more prepared, productive, and confident.

As a millennial HR business partner, when Kristen Collins connects with existing and potential team members after the holiday break, she’s always pleasantly surprised when she hears a professional spent their time doing any of the following:

Evaluating their 2017 budget and setting a new budget for 2018. “It shows they’re treating their household like a company, and they are the CEO,” Collins explains. For every month of 2018 milllennials should create a personal P&L statement or budget worksheet. For parents, this should include the expenses (and activities) of the children as well. Similar to an actual organization, in the event milllennials plan to spend less on expenses vs. last year, do not reduce the overall budget by the difference. Simply increase the savings line item in the budget, or add another line item for exercise, professional development or travel- all of which are activities that foster personal growth.

Renegotiating the cost of expenses. At this stage in their lives milllennials can negotiate most of their bills, from car insurance to daycare costs. Some will require more negotiation than others, but in the end the cost savings can be redistributed towards self-improvement goals. “When I hear colleagues say they’re trying to cut the cost of X to save for a workshop or seminar, my ears perk up," says Collins. “It makes me believe they are investing in themselves.”
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Trying a new activity with their family. Detoxing with family and friends is perfectly acceptable, provided it’s not limited to just watching streaming services. “Spending time with family and friends making new memories is a productive way to recharge,” Collins adds. Millennial parents should spend time doing an activity different from the normal weekend outings with their children over the holiday break. In this instance, self-improvement powerfully affects the children and sets an example for the long term.

Continuing their education. Collins often hears of millennial professionals who consider pursuing a certification or sign up for professional development courses within their field over the holiday break. While these activities cannot be completed within seven days, they can be researched within that time frame. Additionally, when a millennial returns to the office in January and discusses with their manager their 2018 career development goals, it shows their intent to take an active role in their career.

Meeting other professionals within their industry. Most professional organizations are transitioning leaders and committee members in the fourth quarter. The holiday break is an excellent time to begin participating in a professional organization, either as a regular member or committee member. “If a millennial professional already is an active member of their organization, they should consider serving as an officer or board member, collecting endorsements to do so over the holiday break,” Collins suggests. It's also an excellent opportunity to increase duties and responsibilities or connect with other members (and begin a mentoring relationship).

Working on any of these five things will help millennial professionals become more successful in their careers, their finances and in their personal relationships too. Taking time to overcome insecurities and adjust weaknesses is a step on the path of maturity that cannot be overlooked, and those who spend time improving themselves are clearly illustrating they have strategic goals.