Can You Complete the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ Career Transition Challenge?

Can You Complete the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ Career Transition Challenge?
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Whether you are heading to an ugly holiday sweater party or reuniting with family and friends, this festive season offer tons of networking opportunities. And while networking can get old and feel cliché (or even icky), it remains vital to launching your life’s next chapter – both professionally and personally.


[RELATED: Here’s What the Holidays Have in Common With Your Career Transition]


For those of you who like a challenge, a checklist, or just some simple and quick tips, check out this list of transition-related activities you can easily integrate into your schedule while still enjoying all that the holidays have to offer:

  • Develop ONE amazing brand statement.
  • Invest in TWO new networking/interviewing outfits (business and business casual).
  • Adopt a new habit by writing down your top THREE priorities for the following day before going to sleep.
  • Send FOUR short, personalized invites to connect on LinkedIn – daily!
  • Exercise (aka sweat) FIVE times a week for 25-30 minutes. Physical and mental fitness are crucial components to a successful transition.
  • Briefly share your transition story/journey with SIX acquaintances.
  • Set up SEVEN informational interviews (20-minute calls) over the next 30 days.
  • Give your business card to at least EIGHT people you meet socially.
  • Every week, comment on NINE posts related to your industry of interest on LinkedIn.
  • Begin your day by spending at least TEN minutes in some form of contemplation – mindfulness, meditation, prayer, and/or journaling will help you clear your thoughts and find your focus.
  • “Like” ELEVEN posts industry related on LinkedIn every day.
  • Ask TWELVE people already in your network to connect you with someone in their network.


With a little planning and thoughtfulness – and these dozen steps – you can make great strides in a short period of time. After all, you never know which handshake, connection, or serendipitous encounter will lead you to a future opportunity. So have an open mind and enjoy the good cheer (and the eggnog)!


Want more? Check out MOAA’s Transition and Career Center, where you can find more articles, webinars and the newest version of Marketing Yourself for a Second Career, MOAA’s annual Transition Guide, and our retirement checklist for Guard and Reserve members.


Not sure what you want to do after service? Join me for the Dare to Dream: Live the Life You Love weekly online workshop – it’s not too late to join the ongoing session. Spots are limited, so register today!


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About the Author

Cmdr. Erin Cardinal, USN (Ret), ACC, CPC
Cmdr. Erin Cardinal, USN (Ret), ACC, CPC

Cardinal is MOAA's Program Director, Transition Services & Family Programs. She is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and has extensive experience in coaching servicemembers through their transition from active duty to the civilian sector.