Six Ways to Sparkle at Work During the Holidays
1. Spread Good Tidings
It’s the perfect time of year to get noticed by the leaders at your company. Even if you usually find yourself tongue-tied around the powers that be, it’s easy to add a friendly, can’t-go-wrong “happy holidays” to your usual nod when you pass them in hall.
2. ‘Tis the Season to Network
For that matter, consider the entire holiday season -- and every party therein -- a good networking opportunity. If you work in a big company, use your office party as a chance to meet folks in other departments whose paths you don’t usually cross. If you’re going to a soiree at a friend’s, neighbor’s or relative’s, consider it a low-pressure networking opportunity. You’ll be remembered more fondly over a festive cup of eggnog than over lukewarm coffee at your professional association’s monthly meeting.
3. Bring Joy to the World
Think out of the box for a productive holiday season. Show you have organizational skills (and a social conscience) by getting your office involved in a charity project. Collect toys for underprivileged kids, or ask your HR department if the company can host a Jeans Day, where everyone pays a few bucks to wear denim and the proceeds benefit a local organization for the needy.
4. Make Like an Elf
It takes extra self-control to buckle down and finish a report or cold call a client when everyone else is chatting over cookies in the lunchroom and leaving early to shop. But if you have some time off coming, think of the consequences of procrastination and give yourself a firm deadline for completing your work (just like Santa’s elves). You don’t want to burn the midnight oil on Christmas Eve, do you?
5. Be a Wise Man (or Woman)
If, in fact, you are fortunate enough to have the type of job that allows for some December downtime, use it wisely. Empty your email. Clean your workspace. Read your piled-up trade journals and think about how to use the interesting ideas you find there. Set some professional goals for the new year. Or just work ahead of schedule (gasp!), even if you don’t have a deadline looming -- you’ll be happy you were a productive holiday worker when the January rush hits.
6. Stay Off the Naughty List
Sure, go ahead and shop ‘til you drop -- just don’t do it from your computer at work. Save your online shopping for home. And whatever you do, never, ever slough off so much during the holidays that your coworkers or boss have to pick up your slack. If your failure to do your job impacts a colleague, you’ll get exactly what you deserve: resentment and hostility for disrupting their holiday plans.