Gift-wrapped skills: Making the most of your holidays for professional development

Holiday work

As Christmas approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the festive spirit and the warm, sunny days that New Zealand offers during its summer season. However, amidst the barbecues, beach trips and parties, this is a unique opportunity for job seekers and career-focused individuals to use their holiday time for professional development.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the value of honing your skills and expanding your knowledge during the Christmas season, and how you can make the most of this time to benefit your career.

The value of professional development

Before we delve into the season’s professional development potential, let’s discuss why continuous learning and skill development are so important for career growth. The job market is constantly evolving, and staying relevant requires adaptability and up-to-date skills.

Investing time and effort into professional development offers several key benefits. It makes you more attractive to employers and enhances your confidence and job satisfaction. Additionally, it provides a sense of accomplishment and personal growth.

Identifying your goals

The first step towards leveraging your holiday time for professional development is to identify your goals. What skills or certifications do you want to pursue? Whether it’s acquiring a new language, gaining expertise in a particular software or obtaining a certification relevant to your field, set clear and achievable goals.

Leveraging online courses and resources

One of the most convenient ways to enhance your skills during the holiday season is through online courses and resources. The internet is filled with e-learning platforms, offering various courses catering to various skills and industries. Websites like Coursera, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning provide many choices.

Before you enrol in a course, ensure that it aligns with your goals and that the course provider is reputable. Many courses offer flexibility, allowing you to learn at your own pace, which is ideal for the holiday season.

Networking and workshops

The holiday season also presents opportunities for attending networking events and workshops. These events can be valuable for connecting with industry professionals, learning from experts and staying updated on industry trends. Look out for local events, webinars and workshops taking place during the festive season.

Balancing work and professional development

Balancing work and professional development during the holiday season can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Effective time management is key. Create a schedule that allocates time for both work and learning. Communicate your intentions to your employer or clients to set clear expectations and boundaries.

Remember, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential to avoid burnout. Enjoy the holiday season while also advancing your career.

Success story

To inspire you, let’s take a look at a success story. Many individuals have used their holiday time for professional development and reaped the rewards. They’ve acquired new skills, earned certifications and even secured new jobs.

Sarah is a marketer in Auckland. Last Christmas, she used her summer break to invest in her career. Sarah enrolled in an online digital marketing course, balancing work and study by dedicating her afternoons to learning.

She attended virtual marketing workshops and webinars during the holiday season, expanding her knowledge and making industry connections. After completing her course and acquiring a certificate, Sarah confidently applied for a digital marketing role.

The result? Sarah secured the job and embarked on a path to career growth. Her story showcases the potential of using the holiday season for professional development.   Your success story could be next!

Staying motivated

Staying motivated during the holiday season, with its myriad distractions, can be a challenge. To stay on track, set daily or weekly goals, break your learning into manageable chunks and reward yourself for achieving milestones. Surround yourself with a supportive network and remind yourself of the long-term benefits of your efforts.


In conclusion, don’t let the holiday season pass by without seizing the opportunity for professional development. By setting clear goals, utilising online courses and resources, attending networking events and balancing work and learning effectively, you can gift-wrap your skills and present yourself as a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

As the Christmas season approaches, start planning your professional development goals and unwrap the gift of career advancement. Embrace the holiday season not only as a time of celebration but also as a time of personal growth and skill acquisition.