This post originally appeared on MainStreet.
Sure, the holidays are a great time for kicking back.
Taking it easy.
Chilling out with friends and family.
It’s a time for that extra glass of wine, that additional slice of pumpkin pie and that extra hour of sleep – and there’s nothing wrong with exhaling and enjoying the holidays.
But what if you could have all that and improve your career standing over the normally dormant holiday workplace season (that is, if you don’t work in the retail sector)?
You can, with a few easy steps, according to Ford R. Myers, a career coach and author of Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.
Myers is a self-admitted contrarian when it comes to when to apply – and when not to apply – energy toward your career. November and December are actually “excellent” times to clean up your career path and especially to set the stage for a successful job search, he says.
Why the holidays? Because your competition for jobs and better positions is distracted.
“Many job-seekers don’t realize how important it is to keep their search fully active during these months,” he says. “There is little to no competition. Companies are completing their budget planning for the next fiscal year, so it’s a great time to get in front of hiring managers. And many executives have to fill openings early in the year or they may lose the budget for that position.”
What steps can you take to leverage that competitive advantage? Try these suggestions from Myers for openers: