The Christmas holidays are almost upon us, or perhaps you’re lucky enough to already be embracing some well-deserved time off. However long you manage to get off, it can be a great time to get some things done that have slipped off the radar or out of reach throughout the year. Perhaps there’s something you’ve been avoiding dealing with, maybe you just got too busy to get around to some things, or there might be a fun project that you’ve been waiting all year to get some time for. Whatever it might be, these upcoming holidays are a great opportunity to fit them in.
Here at DesignGel, we’ll be doing some of these things ourselves, and we’ve got some ideas about how to make the most of the Christmas break!
Take a break
First of all, this is supposed to be a break, so it’s important to take some time off. Even if you find it difficult to close your laptop or put the pen down, a small amount of time away from working will do wonders. If you’ve had a busy or stressful year, it’s especially important to give yourself some well-deserved rest & relaxation time, particularly before the new year kicks in! Maybe it’s a good time to get out of your city, go explore nature, try some new things, read some amazing books or see your family. Whatever it is that you choose to do, it should make you happy and help you to unwind.
Review & Plan
Once you’ve enjoyed some time off, or perhaps in-between, now is a good time to think about how the year went and where you want to improve in the new year. You could make a list of the pros and cons that stand out throughout your year: what went well, what didn’t, how could you improve? Maybe you could start to plan what to do when you finish studying, or where it is you might want to score an internship or job next year. Think about how you want to level up within your career in 2017; is it within your current workplace or do you have aspirational goals to be in that design studio that you’ve always dreamt of? Set aside some time (it doesn’t have to be long, or it could be over a period of time) and start to make some plans. There’s always room to improve so what does that look like for you?
Our favourite thing to do in the break is to get creative. We spend all year working on client projects which are amazing but have to fit a brief, or uni work which is about a particular topic or issue. Having some time out of these spaces gives you the freedom to let loose and create whatever we want! Work on that one project you’ve alway wanted to do but found it too hard, too time-consuming or just outright impossible. You could use this as a chance to have some fun and be creative, or you could also take it as an opportunity to create some killer portfolio pieces. You can work on these self-initiated projects, inject your creativity in there, get them looking impressive and then pop them on your portfolio. Everyone loves to see how well you can liaise with clients, stick to a brief and design to a set style although the way to stand out is to let your employer or to-be employer know that your style, passion and dedication goes well above and beyond the 8-5 Monday to Friday grind.
Speaking of your portfolio, now is the perfect time to do a good review of how it’s currently looking. Same with your CV! Do you have heaps of old work on there? Do you have new work that’s not on there yet? Have you been getting the work you want from it? What have people said about it in interviews or meetings? Look at it wholistically, imagining you’re a potential client or employer - does it show the type of projects you want to be working on the future? If your portfolio isn’t how you want it, take this opportunity of free time to let out all your creative freedom and revive your site. Maybe you’ll need to teach yourself some new skills or make some more work to take it to where it needs to be, but reviewing it now will help you put some steps in place to get you to that point.
Those are just a few things that you can help you make the most of the Christmas break. We’ll be doing all of these things and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing how it goes! We’d love to hear what you’re doing over the holidays and how you plan to make the most of it, whatever way that might be! Otherwise, have a great break!
Hollie & Jared.