Many job seekers erroneously believe that searching for a job during the holiday season is a waste of time. Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, the holiday season, the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year, is often one of the best times to look for a new job.  This is true for several reasons.  First, there is often less competition because so many job seekers suspend their job search during these months.  Second, corporations with hiring budgets are often looking to ‘spend off’ their remaining budgets, making it easier to find an ideal position.  The key is utilizing unique opportunities available to job seekers during the holiday season and remaining positive.

For those looking for a job during the holiday’s, the following tips should be carefully reviewed and considered as part of their ‘survival guide’:

  1. Remain upbeat: Those that have been searching for a new position for an extended period of time often find their mood flagging during the holiday season.  Depression can quickly lead to wasted job seeking opportunities, so be sure to remain positive.  If needed, create a schedule for yourself, providing at least one job-seeking task each day.  Remember to treat your job search like it is a job in itself.
  2. Use holiday parties to network: You never know where the next opportunity will come from, and holiday parties offer the perfect opportunity to network and increase your visibility.  Whether attending family parties or industry events, put on your best face, be positive and network.  Holiday parties are the best opportunity for networking around.
  3. Holiday greetings: While the old ‘Merry Christmas’ cards are considered politically incorrect, Holiday Greeting cards offer the perfect opportunity to reconnect with industry contacts or potential employers.  Be sure to include your business card or contact information in the card to fully take advantage of this opportunity.
  4. Regularly review postings: Remember that as the year comes to a close, many businesses are struggling to fill open positions before their budget ‘resets.’  Keep checking classified ads and online listings and keep in close contact with your headhunter to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities.
  5. Consider seasonal work: While seasonal work isn’t the ideal opportunity, especially for those looking for executive positions, sometimes taking a seasonal position can be beneficial.  The act of working again can do wonders for depression and if you are lucky enough to land a seasonal position in your field or industry, help keep your name visible. Oh, and might I add one very important thing: DISCOUNTS.

Don’t use the holiday season as an excuse to forgo your job seeking activities. Instead, try to remember that the months in-between Thanksgiving and the New Year can offer plum employment opportunities.  Use your survival guide to take advantage of the unique opportunities the holiday season can present.
Above all, remain committed to your job seeking activities. Failing to do so during the holidays can quickly ruin any momentum you currently have.

Fighting Job Search Depression

Career & WorkplaceJob Search

It is common to feel discouraged, even hopeless, during a job hunt that runs longer than you would like. In this financial environment, some people’s job searches run for months. So here are some tips to keep in mind when the job hunt has you feeling low.
1. As they say, a job hunt is easily a full-time job. Don’t make it more than that. Put in your time job-hunting, then be sure to take some time for yourself.
Don’t give yourself a hard time for taking time off. If you don’t take down-time, the stress will wear away at your mental health, leaving you in no shape for interviews.
2. No stewing over your termination from your last job. Layoffs are ongoing, and these days, you haven’t had much of a career, if you haven’t been laid off at least once.
Take whatever lessons you can from your last position, looking for areas of improvement, and then move on. Period. You are human, you make mistakes, just like everyone else. Forgive yourself for any mistakes, then work on them.
(And your ex-boss? She’s human, too.)
3. If you’re really stuck in a rut, take some time to do work around the house that you’d never had time to get around to. Schedule those doctor appointments that you’ve been missing due to your busy schedule. Think of this as an unplanned leave of absence, and see the benefit in the time that you’ve been given.
4. Make up a new plan of attack. Plans can be invigorating, and with the time that you’ve had to reflect, you may come upon new plans of attack. Now may be a great time to head your career in a new direction. With your last job, you gained experience that you didn’t have previously.
Really search the market and see what’s out there. Look for areas of growth and opportunity, and really try hard to see your skills and abilities as freshly as if you’d never seen them before.
5. Take a class, read a book, expand skills that will aid you in your job search. Take the time to get a certification if it’s likely to pay off.
6.When the stress is overwhelming, take a mental health day, and just soak in the tub with a good book and some Merlot. Go for a walk.Take a class or something you’ve always wanted to do. Rediscover the world as it is when you aren’t wearing stress blinders.
7. Get out there and meet people. Join clubs, especially those associated with work interests, go to university lectures. NETWORK! Even a hiking club might well provide you with the contact who gets you that next job. Remember, who you know is at least as important as your training. The main thing a boss is looking for is reliability, and they get that assurance from acquaintance, however slight or second-hand, with your character.
8. Don’t take it personally when you don’t get the job. It’s not a personal rejection; you just aren’t what they need today.