It is just about Christmas Day, Hanukkah has begun, and the holiday lights are in full glow everywhere you look. While this time of the year is stressful, it also the most joyous for nearly anyone not named Scrooge. I, myself love the holidays and can’t seem to get enough of those Bing Crosby Christmas songs or late-night showings of Polar Express.
That said, the holidays are definitely not a time for rest and relaxation. And if you’re a young hustler like I am, the holidays aren’t just a time to wrap up the past year, they are a great opportunity to start building for the New Year and beyond.
Here are three things you should be doing to get a leg up on the competition around you.
Wish your mentors a happy holiday
The professionals that you look up to and learn from are constantly busy and whether or not you have a personal relationship with them, it’s easy for that relationship to be lost in the weeds. Even if they’re your mentor, you have to understand that they are probably mentoring several other young professionals. That being said, the holidays are a great way to strengthen that relationship or stand out from the pack.
Just a simple (and sincere) card or email wishing them a happy holiday can make all the difference. Trust me—you will always benefit from this. Every good relationship, both professional or personal needs a personal touch and sincerity—the holidays are a great chance to show how much their support means.
Go to the holiday parties
I’ve always said on this blog and many others that when you go to networking events, you should drop the agenda and go to build meaningful relationships through thoughtful conversation. The holiday season is the best time to do this.
Not only are there events wherever you look, the atmosphere is looser and allows room for casual and friendly conversation. Use this atmosphere to your advantage and start building friendships in the business world—trust me; those go a long way.
I love seeing the holiday crowds no matter where I am. Whether I’m walking around Manhattan or spending the weekend in the Philadelphia suburbs, the holidays bring a feeling of hustle and bustle that is actually quite fun to watch.
It’s a great opportunity to see what consumers are interested in, the marketing they react to, and what makes them tick during the shopping high-point of the year. Creativity and new ideas on how to reach consumers are not found in books or during webinars—they are found by those who explore what is around them and study those who are they trying to reach. Take the holidays to start doing this—you never know when it will come in handy.
Harrison is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the new Online MBA program at the University of North Carolina and sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. As evidenced through his previous projects, Harrison has a passion for all things social media, philanthropy, and finding new ways for students to understand the power of a brand. Before moving to New York and while still a student at Temple University, Harrison founded the PR/Social Media consulting firm, Kratz PR as well as Engage TV and the #PRStudCast podcast. Feel free to connect with him to discuss community, social good, branding, or the Philadelphia Phillies on Twitter, @KratzPR or Linkedin.