Getting Through Slow Times at Work

Posted December 20, 2011 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was last year before deciding when to move to Chicago. With my husband already here, I toyed with the idea of waiting until after the 1st of the year to move. Then, a very wise mentor said to me, “Go in December! People are so slow in December, you’ll get better networking opportunities because people will be willing to give you their time.” And boy, was she right. I met hundreds of people in Chicago last December and had nearly 30 in-person meetings by the end of the month!

Fast forward a year, and I’ve become one of those “slow in December” folks. Our entire office is, it seems. On any given day, in any company around the country in December, half of the office might be on vacation, the other half sick with a winter-blues cold, and whoever is left in the office is probably a little restless from too many Christmas cookies and libations the night before.

So how do you do it? We’re savvy, busy career girls. What we know is fast-paced, 60 hours a week, run run run. How do you get through what might be a slow time at work? For my money, the best approach is to see it as an opportunity. You know that  list you’ve been “meaning to get to” for the past three months? It probably contains strategic, but non-urgent tasks. Get to it! And even better, take the time to plan. Especially since it’s the end of the year. Think through your goals for 2012 both personally and professionally. What do you hope to accomplish? What can you realistically achieve? Contemplate and think through each of these goals in a time when you’ve been given the gift of freedom to think and plan rather than focusing on “do.”

And don’t feel guilty for working 40 hours a week during the slow season! That’s my goal for the next few weeks. When things are quiet, I’m going to work hard at working a regular week rather than my normal 10-12 hour days. It feels good to get into the office when it’s light out instead of dark, and make time in the evenings for the workouts my schedule has been craving for months. Do it without guilt, do it knowing that you are completing 2011 in a healthy, productive, yet contemplative way.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."