Business “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and the New Work World

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” and the New Work World

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC 


“The Twelve Days of Christmas” as we know it today was made famous in 1909 by an English composer, Frederic Austin. The Christmas carol is organized into twelve days with a new gift each day building upon the previous ones as the song progresses. The twelve gifts might represent twelve efforts that could be made to use the month of December as productively as possible. As you dive into your career endeavors in the New Work World this holiday season, let’s consider how the organization of this song could be used to move you forward into the new year.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

In Greek mythology, the partridge is closely associated with Athena, who is said to have turned someone whose ingenuity she admired into the first partridge. This month, consider using your own ingenuity to edit your resume down to a single page containing keywords appropriate to the positions for which you are applying. This could help you move forward through the algorithms now in place in the digital world.

Two Turtle Doves

Traditionally, turtle doves are symbols of love. Love on yourself this December by including on your resume two exemplary achievements you have accomplished for each role you have had. For example, if you are a sales professional in this New Work World, prospective employers may be impressed if you grew sales 40 percent or expanded the product line. Make sure the achievements you include are presented in a quantitative manner to improve your chances of being selected for an interview.

Three French Hens

One interpretation of the three French hens in this carol is the three gifts of the Magi. With this in mind, what if you sent Christmas cards to three ex-bosses or colleagues who have moved on to new companies and then followed up with phone calls to wish them happy holidays? What new groundwork might that lay for you? Perhaps you might discover what their companies are doing. Maybe they would let you use them as references. Or perhaps they would be willing to advise you if their companies have any needs going forward.

Four Calling Birds

Consider calling on four individuals or companies this holiday season. Could you make follow-up calls on positions you have applied for? Maybe you could contact friends or family you have always admired to let them know of your status. You might also write down four goals important to your current “calling.” Could you achieve any of them by the end of December?

Five Golden Rings

The holiday season is a golden opportunity for you to remind yourself of what you can offer to the New Work World. Make a list of your five most transferrable skills. If you are unemployed, perhaps you can investigate five new opportunities worth considering in the New Year. List out five of your golden traits, those qualities you are most proud of. As you move into the new year, focus on these traits instead of the challenges you have encountered. This might also be a golden way to enhance your self-esteem in the face of rejection letters or when job-seeking efforts don’t seem to be yielding results.

Six Geese A-Laying

Consider spending time on LinkedIn making new connections with six people in companies you would like to learn more about. Such an endeavor could help you lay new foundations for stronger relationships in the new year. On LinkedIn, there are forums, discussions, and announcements by people in management positions that might be advantageous to you.

Seven Swans A-Swimming

Swans are symbols of grace, beauty, and transformation, among other things. With this in mind, what are seven areas where you could enhance your personal development in the new year? For example, would you like to take a new class in digital marketing? What about investigating mindfulness practices to make you feel healthier and more grounded? Would a writing or art class interest you and enhance your self-esteem? Write down seven activities that would allow you to showcase your own beauty, both inner and outer, or help you transform into an even better version of yourself.

Eight Maids A-Milking

Because of its numeral form, the number eight relates to infinity or the power of rebirth and transformation. List eight jobs that might be similar to what you have been doing yet would be more fulfilling This exercise can help you step out of your comfort zone so you can grow and expand. It can also help you explore how you can milk your own talents to get the most out of your skillset and experiences for the New Work World. By listing them on paper, you can add power to your belief in what you can do moving forward.

Nine Ladies Dancing

As we enter the new year, many are looking to start a new dance in the New Work World. If you are, you must first learn new steps. Can you reflect on experiences you have had this year in which you might have gone backward to take greater steps forward? Have the last several months forced you to learn new steps to a dance you might enjoy more than the one you have previously followed? With such questions in mind, can you spend nine minutes a day updating your personal journal or expanding your LinkedIn profile to present your work experience so you can work toward beginning your new dance in the new year?

Ten Lords A-Leaping

Just as the gifts build upon each other each day in the song, each of these tips should build upon the ones before. Consider how the suggestions above can allow you to take a giant leap in your career endeavors. Remember that the word no that you might tell yourself can also be spelled know. Know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to if you only take the proper steps. As Henry Ford once said, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” In numerology, the number ten is said to indicate an independent person with enormous potential. This number also helps in bringing projects to completion. You can use the number ten energy to take your own giant leap in your career endeavors.

Eleven Pipers Piping

When I think of pipers piping, I think of celebratory events. What can you do now to make sure you have something to celebrate in 2022? How are you going to celebrate your growth due to the hard work you put into yourself and your career to make 2022 your best year yet? What if you were to move up two levels in your career? Could you do more exercise to help you have more energy and feel better at the end of the day? Can you gear your mindset toward doing things now that will allow you to celebrate later? Can you aim for eleven different ways to grow and celebrate?

Twelve Drummers Drumming

The beat goes on as you take these extra steps to grow and develop both personally and professionally. Believe that you have the ingenuity to hunt for your own merry Christmas by wishing merry Christmas to twelve of your favorite past and present work affiliates. Take these steps toward success to expand your opportunities.

Make your personal and professional hunt your new song to celebrate success and growth for the new year. The “Twelve Days of Christmas” can become your method and roadmap to plan your leaps to success and march to a new beat in the New Work World.


Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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