How to Get on Career Santa’s Nice List

What a year! I am sure that December snuck up on you just like it has on the rest of us.  While you are busy sorting out the details of whether you have been naughty or nice this year, your Career Santa wants to offer you a checklist of MUST-DO’s in December to stay on my Nice List.

  1. Register for and attend HIMSS in Las Vegas, Feb 20-24 – There will be no better opportunity to increase your knowledge on key HIT issues, to learn new ways to solve the complex issues you are facing, and most important to network with thousands of talented HIT professionals.
  2. Make a list of your top 5 accomplishments for 2011 – This is important for many reasons.  You will need this information as input into your annual performance review.  You need to celebrate your accomplishments for this year and you will want to raise the bar even higher next year…
  3. Make a list of your top 5 goals for 2012 – Ideally you would incorporate this into your performance review process.  If not, at least ask your boss for 30 minutes of their time to strategize on this.  Set ambitious goals for 2012, there is a ton of opportunity to help any health care organization through the challenges of Meaningful Use and ICD-10 and everything else being thrown at them next year.
  4. Reach out to 3-5 people that you have been meaning to talk to but haven’t made the time to do so.  Start now.  Print this post.  On it, write the 3-5 names.  Contact them any way that makes sense.  Send a Christmas card.  Call their home on a weekend.  Have a meaningful conversation about your goals for next year, their goals for next year and how you might help each other.  Then follow-up!
  5. Make sure you understand the basics of the two biggest waves of change that will impact Healthcare IT over the next 10 years, Meaningful Use and ICD-10.  There are primers available in many places.  A little work with Google will find you presentations galore on the basics of each.  If you don’t know very much about one or both, spend at least an hour researching each one.  Then set one hour on your calendar each month in 2012 to keep up and/or learn more about each.
  6. Update your LinkedIn profile.  Spend 60 minutes updating your profile, sending invitations to new contacts, and providing references for those that have done a great job for you this year.
  7. Update your resume.  Even if you are happy in your job, you need to be ready when the recruiter calls with the opportunity of a lifetime.  The way the market is booming, it is highly likely that you will receive several calls per month and you owe it to yourself to know what opportunities exist.  The first thing each recruiter will ask for is a current resume.  So, spend 30 minutes updating your resume and adding your accomplishments for this year from #2.

There you have it.  Start now and finish before you check out for the Holidays.  It’s not hard work to stay on Career Santa’s Nice List, but it is work.   Make time for it.   You are worth it!!!  Happy Holidays to you all!!!

About the author


Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.


  • Awesome post, Joe! I agree with and love all of your suggestions, but #4 really stuck with me. In fact, I did exactly what you recommended and have contacted all five people on my list! I think I will make a list of five each month – life becomes so hectic, and it’s easy to forget what’s really important – relationships!

    Happy Holidays ~

    Sign me,

    Working To Stay On Santa’s Good List

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