Christmas: some quality time off or time to job hunt?!

Should you use your Christmas break for some time off or as your prime time to job search? 

With Christmas Eve arriving tomorrow (whether it feels as if it’s arrived too soon or not!), it’s decision-making time.

Are you going to put your job hunt on hold for the duration of the festivities or are you going to step up your search ahead of the New Year? We’ll take a look at both options…

The pros of taking some time off:

If you’re already employed (and unless you work in retail, hospitality or similar), this is likely to be one of your longest breaks in the working year. It’s been a tough year for many professionals, with increasing numbers of people said to be at breaking point. It’s also the year that WHO expanded on its definition of burnout syndrome.

To top this all off, national productivity has plummeted and there’s even more research to prove that happy employees are more successful.

With all this in mind, the option of a break to unwind and enjoy yourself has clear benefits.

What’s more, it can sometimes take a proper break to gain a bit of perspective.

If you’re feeling run down, burned out and/or desperate for a break, it could be wise to use all or at least most of your leave for some time away from thoughts of work and job searching. You’ll likely feel more capable and confident as a result.

Why it could be the prime time to job hunt:

With many offices closed and (hopefully) now having a little more time to yourself, it can be an excellent opportunity to focus your mind on what you want to achieve in the New Year. It’s not uncommon to feel even more motivated as a result.

You’ll get the chance to research jobs more thoroughly, helping you to identify the most appealing and suitable opportunities.

The extra time can also allow you to put together a better quality CV than you’d compile on the average busy evening or weekend. You could even ask any willing friends and/or family to lend some thoughts on anything you might have missed out in your first draft.

It’s also a chance to make sure your CV is one of the first to arrive in inboxes ahead of the January return.

So, which is the best option for you?

This is a tricky question to answer. It’s most likely one that only you can answer – or someone very close to you who knows how you’ve been feeling lately.

Our best advice is to make sure you’re using at least some of your Christmas break to relax and recharge. However, providing as you’re not feeling unwell or burned out, you could also schedule some time for advancing your career. Perhaps following that period of proper relaxation to get the best of both worlds!

Reminder: if your stress is starting to interfere with the quality of your life (in and/or out of work), you should speak to your GP.

Also, if you’ve experienced a sense of career failure recently, please read this post. It may give you more confidence before those festive catch-ups!

Ready to start/continue your job search? Here are the latest opportunities.



The end of Secret Santa?

What is Christmas in the office without Secret Santa?! Why there’s a chance that this tradition could be banned…

This workplace tradition is so ubiquitous that a quick search for the best gifts reveals 196 million results. Even the broadsheets are participating, with lists of items you can snap up from less than £10.

What’s more, there are guides dedicated to the Dos and Don’ts of picking gifts for your colleagues alongside websites that help you auto-generate your Secret Santa names…even to the extent of helping you to avoid previous picks!

Bearing all this in mind, why could Secret Santa become endangered?

It turns out that more than 1/4 of younger employees are struggling to afford such office celebrations and ‘whip-rounds’.

It’s not just the Christmas gift sharing that proves a problem, as many employees are participating in 15 celebratory spends a year.

Birthdays are costing employees the most, with an average of 5 annual contributions per person.

This all tots up to an average of £99 spent on colleagues each year…or £4,667 across a working lifetime!

Millennials are also experiencing the biggest spend, with 17 celebratory contributions amounting to £151 a year and £7,111 throughout their careers.

Consequently, 1/5 of employees say financial contributions should be banned at work. This rises to 35% among millennial respondents.

Will we really say goodbye to the tradition?

There are clear benefits to workplace giving. Employees believe these include:

  • Showing ‘respect and appreciation’ (64%)
  • Morale-boosting (61%)
  • Creating a ‘healthy rapport’ with colleagues (60%)

For these reasons, it looks unlikely that Secret Santa will become endangered anytime soon.

However, some offices may find other ways of helping younger and/or less affluent employees participate in office traditions.

One idea is for business owners to create budgets for these celebrations – an idea that more than 1/5 of employees welcome. Other recommendations include the chance to opt-out, alongside clearly defined spending limits.

Ready to increase your salary? Visit our jobs page to see where your next career step could take you.

Wondering whether you may get a Christmas bonus this year? Read this post next!



The unproductive month + top December stresses!

Do you suffer from unproductive Decembers when work and festive commitments collide? If so, which elements do you find most stressful?

It appears that 1/3 of British professionals struggle to maintain their productivity during the run-up to the Christmas break.

Almost as many (30%) also regret using their holiday entitlement early in the month, as they’ll then miss out on the festive atmosphere at work.

Other December regrets include…

  1. Drinking excessively at the office party
  2. Leaving ‘too much work’ until after Christmas – and then feeling depressed on their return!
  3. Missing the office party due to personal commitments

The challenge of juggling work and social needs brings additional stress. Professionals most struggle with:

  • Picking the perfect presents (35%)
  • Trying to finish their work before the end of the year (21%)
  • Budgeting for gifts, food, and travel (14%)
  • The number of social commitments (12%)
  • Deciding what to wear to the office Christmas party (5%)

It’s not all negative though…

13% of employees don’t find December stressful. Plus respondents clearly find joy in the season, with these items topping their list:

  1. ‘Drinking with friends’
  2. ‘Eating delicious food’
  3. ‘Celebrating the years’ success’
  4. And ‘seeing directors having fun’

Want to boost your productivity this month? Havard Business Review has a free guide to help you avoid distractions ‘at work and in life!’ You can read the transcript or listen to the conversation in full. It’s less than half an hour long, so also offers a great way to make your commute more productive!

Tip: if you want to boost productivity in your workplace this December, why not hire a temp or two? Whether to cover your phone lines for your Christmas party day or to help handle a surge in seasonal demand. Please call the office on 01225 313130 or email us to discuss your needs. You can also register your CV for temporary (and/or permanent!) work.