Valentine’s Day, like many other holidays, offers us a chance for reflection. We ponder our life choices, our current state of happiness, and what to do for our loved ones to show them how important they are. I’ve always been of the opinion that Valentine’s Day is not only a chance to show your appreciation for your significant other, but should also be a chance to show your appreciation for your closest friends and family who have always been there for you and probably don’t get thanked nearly often enough.
In fact, rather than being sad if you’re single this Valentine’s Day, take it as a chance to make the choice to change your attitude about the holiday. Being positive and not taking for granted all the good things you have going for you will undoubtedly become apparent in other aspects of your life, such as at work and at school. Take the time to appreciate your coworkers, schoolmates, professors, and bosses. It’s so much easier to be happy if you dwell on the positives rather than the negatives, and positivity can take you a long way in your professional development.
Also, holidays such as Valentine’s Day can offer valuable lessons when it comes to things like the job search or maybe advancement within your current career. Giving the same care and attention to your professional development as you would to your significant other can result in huge payoffs in the end.
Tailor your resume. Just like you wouldn’t give a regifted item to your significant other, don’t reuse the same resume/cover letter. Every time you turn in your resume, you should look it over and make sure it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. You can even go so far as to use some of the specific language that’s in the original job description, to make sure that it’s obvious that you’re a good fit for the position.
Dress to impress. You probably wouldn’t go out for a romantic Valentine’s dinner without looking your best, so approach interviews as opportunities to “woo” the employer. Dressing your best to make a great first impression is almost as important as the entire rest of the interview.
Stand out. Let’s face it: flowers and chocolate aren’t exactly the most original gifts to give on Valentine’s Day. To really make the occasion memorable, you have to think outside the box. The same thing applies to your career: in order to get the job or be recognized for your hard work at your current job, you have to make the effort to stand out among your peers.
Be proactive. Relationships usually don’t just happen, they take a certain amount of work to initiate and keep going. Likewise, a career won’t just happen without any effort on your part. Take the extra step to follow up after you turn in your resume and after an interview so that you maximize your chances of standing out among your competition.
With these tips in mind, I hope you have a successful Valentine’s Day and some new ideas about your professional development!
Posted by Deirdre Newton, Career Services Assistant