Insider Today: Year-end career to-do list

Plus: Job-hunting tips, and living in hotels full time.

December 23, 2023 • 5 min read

Welcome to the weekend, friends. If you want to do something new, try padel, which is giving pickleball some competition for the title of the world’s fastest-growing sport. The sport’s courts are considered the next hot amenity in luxury homes.

For today’s big story, I chatted with experts about what everyone should do for their careers before the year ends.

What's on deck

But first, we’re making a list and checking it twice.
digital illustration of woman balancing on briefcase

Pete Ryan for Business Insider

The big story

End-of-year to-do list

As the year winds down, it’s a perfect opportunity for some career self-care. 

At the end of the year, companies are normally reviewing what the future looks like. So experts shared what you should do to set yourself up for success before the year ends.

Track your Ws

For many people, the workload gets a little lighter this time of year. That means it’s a perfect time to reflect on — and document — your wins from the past year, Clint Carrens, a career strategist at Indeed, told me.

“Customer appraisals, commendations you’ve received, awards you’ve won,” Carrens said. “Any of our accomplishments from the past year, let’s get those all down on paper.”

Review your job

While thinking about your wins, it’s also a good time to assess your current role. Carrens suggested asking yourself a few questions: Are you still finding yourself challenged and fulfilled? What are your goals? What new challenges are you looking for?

Then take time to develop actionable steps to start achieving these things in the new year.

It’s also worth looking at the hiring landscape if you’re considering changing jobs. The labor market is really tight, so it could make sense to start updating your LinkedIn profile, résumé, and other documents.

digital illustration of a worker strapped to a rocket

Malte Mueller/Getty Images

Reconnect with people

The end of the year is a great time to reconnect with people, and that can apply to professional relationships.

“Identify your professional relationships from your past that you’ve let lapse and reconnect,” Carrens told me. Reconnecting can look like catching up over the phone, chatting online, or grabbing coffee somewhere.

But it doesn’t have to happen before the year ends. Andrew McCaskill, a career expert at LinkedIn, said you can start by simply assembling the list of people you plan to reach out to.

Get organized

Clear your desk. Clean your inbox. Check off that to-do list. This is the perfect time to reset and focus on getting everything in order, McCaskill told me.

“That’s for anybody — that’s for a manager, that’s for a CEO, or intern. Get organized,” McCaskill said. “Gather everything you need to start fresh in January so that you can hit the ground running.”

3 things in

Travel

view from plane ride to katmai

Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

1. What it’s like to visit Alaska’s extremely remote Katmai National Park. It’s so remote that guests must arrive by plane or boat. Katmai is known for the thousands of brown bears that live in the park, giving visitors unprecedented access to seeing them in the wild.

2. The least reliable cars you can buy. Toyota and Lexus top the reliability list of the Consumer Reports annual ranking. But carmakers like Chrysler, Jeep, and Volkswagen fell near the bottom. Plug-in hybrids were chronic low-scorers this year.

3. “I live in hotels full time. It works out cheaper than renting, and I haven’t changed my sheets in 3 years.” Daniel George and his wife are digital nomads who have traveled to 25 countries. They work New York hours while traveling and don’t plan beyond booking a one-way flight.

3 things in

Careers

digital illustration of job hunters standing in line

lemono/Getty Images

1. Tips for January job hunters. A career coach shared six key things for job hunters to keep in mind. They include defining your dealbreakers, recognizing that cover letters are less important than before, and getting your résumé done as soon as possible.

2. CEOs of major companies like Apple get up early — and don’t sleep much. It’s not uncommon for them to rise early to pack in everything they need to do. But there are still a handful of CEOs that aim for eight or more hours of sleep.

3. Luck is a bigger part of success than you think — but it can only take you so far. Luck can look like being in the right place at the right time when an opportunity comes along. But it’s not all chance — the harder and smarter you work, the luckier you get.

3 things in

Life

people having fun together

Maskot / Getty Images

1. Millennials are worried that young people don’t know how to have fun. People are confused about what Gen Z does for fun. And some are worried they don’t have fun at all. But Gen Zers say they’re just in their “grandma era” — crocheting, reading books, and playing video games.

2. Live events became a status symbol in 2023. In the midst of a loneliness epidemic, we all just want to be part of something. And this past year, that looked like attending Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour, lounging in an AMC theater, or cheering at a sporting event.

3. A new barrier deters sharks from areas with swimmers without killing them. Tens of thousands of sharks have died over the decades from barrier nets (called “walls of death” by critics). SharkSafe Barrier, however, uses pipes and magnets to create a safer physical barrier.

Tennessee's famous Nashville hot chicken

bhofack2/Shutterstock

For your bookmarks

Famous local dishes

The most famous local dish from every state. The delicious list includes peach pies, Brunswick stew, finger steaks, and pork tenderloin sandwiches.

News Quiz

Answers for the quiz from Friday’s edition

  • From Monday: What is the name of Elon Musk’s chatbot hoping to rival ChatGPT? Answer: Grok
  • From Tuesday: This tech giant has marketed itself as a trustworthy AI company. Answer: Salesforce
  • From Wednesday: A new law could require this popular chain to be open on Sundays. Answer: Chick-fil-A
  • From Thursday: Which Wall Street bank is contemplating overhauling its management committee? Answer: Goldman Sachs
  • From Friday: This hedge fund shook up its marketing department amid outflows from investors. Answer: Third Point

Let me know how you did at insidertoday@insider.com.

The Insider Today Saturday team

Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hayley Hudson, director, in Edinburgh. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.

Get in touch

insidertoday@insider.com

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