I don’t know about you, but I find this time of the year is a bit… bleh. With the effects of the pandemic ongoing, this winter in particular feels more bleh than usual. If you’re not up for thinking about your career right now, that’s totally understandable. With that said, here are some tips for taking things easy as the year draws to a close.
Rest up… you’ve earnt it
Since the dawn of the pandemic, we’ve seen virtual lectures, remote work and the furlough scheme change everything we know about work and study. But just because we were at home doesn’t mean we were taking it easy. Some people found lone work made them more productive. Others struggled with anxiety, loneliness and a blurring of boundaries between their personal and professional lives.
If you’re feeling a little guilty about taking time off this Christmas, remember we have all responded uniquely to the pandemic. Life has been very different since March 2020, and going back to ‘normal’ has not been a linear process. Enjoy a lie-in if you can, eat some festive food, and relish your free time. You deserve to come back rested and refreshed – it may even do wonders for your motivation.
Work if you want to
According to Mind, working can provide a sense of identity and routine that many people find beneficial to their mental health. Additionally, seasonal work can help you build up transferable skills such as communication, time management and resilience. Customer service is valued across most sectors. If you’ve worked with the public, be sure to emphasise this on your CV.
If you decide to work over the holidays, make sure you choose it for the right reasons. Christmas is a busy time, particularly in retail and hospitality. Don’t just take extra shifts because you think you ‘should’ – be honest with yourself about what you can handle, and make sure you are resting too.
If working over the summer is more your bag, summer internships tend to pick up over Christmas, so keep an eye on MyFuture for new opportunities.
If you’ve graduated or graduate soon
Perhaps you are no longer a student and are prioritising your graduate job hunt. Or maybe you are in your final year and thinking ahead to September. Is there any point looking for jobs now?
YES! Compared to November 2020, we saw over double the number of jobs uploaded to MyFuture last month. On top of this, many of the graduate schemes we saw in our October peak are still open for applications for a few more weeks. We also see something of a mini peak in January and February. Meanwhile, smaller graduate employers haven’t started advertising yet. Trust us when we say it’s not too late.
There are other reasons employers might be hiring right now. It’s no surprise that employee turnover tends to spike at the end of the year, with many of us thinking of our New Year’s Resolutions and the things we want to change. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the competition in the graduate market, but new doors are always opening.
Come and see us in the New Year
We’re closing for Christmas on Friday, 17th December, and reopening Tuesday, 4th January. Because January is so quiet, we’ll be closing for an hour over lunch every day, from 12:30 until 13:30. We’ll still be around during opening hours (9:30 – 16:30) for in-person appointments and drop-in queries.
If you’re still feeling blue
Well, that’s okay too. One in three people experience seasonal affective disorder, which understandably affects how we perform day-to-day activities. If you’re prone to feeling depressed or lethargic at this time of the year, maybe wait until you’re feeling better before you focus on your career. There will always be more jobs, but your mental health should come first. The Wellbeing Service offers support to current students, or you can contact Mind if you are a graduate.