Job Search and the Holiday Season

Holidays can be a challenging time for job seekers. Tips to enjoy the holidays, maintain a healthy outlook AND stay focused on your job search throughout the season!

Are you feeling like it’s a waste of time and energy to continue job hunting during the holiday season? This is a common myth and perhaps a bit of an excuse to ease up on a job search that may be challenging in many ways.  I know a number of job seekers, myself included, who landed that new job during the Holiday Season!  

Why you should STAY IN THE GAME during the holiday season:

  • The competition is less; candidate pool is smaller as many abandon the job search at this time.
  • Since business is generally slower, hiring managers may have more time to speak with you or respond to your email.
  • Project deadlines can change which could put you in a position for immediate hire, temporary / temp-to-perm or consulting work.
  • Voluntary separation occurs in every company – retirement, relocation, medical, family needs, new employment. Networking now could put you in touch with hiring managers that may not yet be aware they will soon need to replace staff.
  • Sometimes a new hire MUST take place in the current year or the opportunity to add staff is lost.

When you minimize search efforts, you lose momentum! If you wait until January to get that train moving again, it will be February/March before you start seeing results. 

This is a wonderful time to reconnect with old acquaintances, former colleagues, friends, neighbors, family, community groups and attend industry group events.  Use your LinkedIn network! Take this opportunity to reach out to those you haven’t spoken to in quite some time and just let them know you’re thinking of them and wish them well.

Helpful networking tips:

  • Appreciation of family, business and community ties lead to a wide array of networking opportunities at this time of year.  People tend to be more open and willing to help….with the RIGHT approach relatives, neighbors and friends could present the RIGHT opportunity.
  • Practice and be prepared to tell others what you would like them to know about you in 30 seconds or less.
  • Be prepared to respond with positive statements when asked about your job search….consider “It’s been an interesting period and I am learning a lot….I’m spending more time with family and friends.”

Although the Holidays are stressful whether employed or not, maintain a positive attitude…..positive people get referred from friends and family….positive
people get hired.

Count your Blessings!  Helping others less fortunate will put your situation in perspective and provide a generous boost of “I feel good!” Your sense of purpose is renewed and you may meet other professionals.  One or two hours a week is all you need to commit and many non-profit groups can certainly use your help at this time of year, especially those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Experience gratitude:

  • The Holidays are all about spending time with loved ones and not about buying expensive gifts. There are many free and inexpensive family activities too!
  • Once the New Year rolls in, you will feel good that you remained PROACTIVE throughout the Holidays.
  • Set reasonable goals for yourself – don’t add to the Holiday stress…… maintain your search activity and make yourself a promise.

What can you do to stay active in your job search during the Holiday Season?

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with friends, family, laughter, gratitude……and a progressive job search!

Donna Galan, Career Consultant.  I help individuals focus and explore career options, maintain productivity and coach clients through all aspects of job search including resumes, interviewing, networking, LinkedIn profiles and strategies. 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you may never get there!”

Yogi Berra


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