The holidays and the end of the year are already times that most of us consider more stressful than other seasons. But for some, the stress isn’t from finding the perfect gift — it’s from finding yourself unemployed.
Whether it is the result of end-of-year layoffs or you have been searching for a job for some time, this time of year is challenging when there isn’t a regular paycheck in the works. Dave Ramsey, the financial guy, just gave us 7 Practical Tips for Dealing With Job Loss at Christmas and his suggestions are actually practical any time of year:
cut back your spending
change your outlook
stick to your routine
find seasonal work
be open with your family
put the holidays in perspective
Don’t Give Up
You can keep up the job hunt during the holidays and have a huge advantage because there are so many networking opportunities. Parties and gatherings are great ways to connect with people without making appointments. Temporary jobs can easily turn into full-time and if they don’t you still have that paycheck and more work experience. Many a temp worker becomes manager later on so don’t discount the lowly position.
The thing I like about Dave Ramsey’s tips is that they make sense. When you are looking for a job, you need to be doing all those things and not pretend that everything is the same. It isn’t the same — and that is good because it gives you an excellent opportunity to make things better. It’s like getting rid of the junk in your house so you can clean it and start over with the good things you decided to keep.
Looking for a Job During the Holidays: A Survivor's Guide
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’:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.