The experts will tell you to keep looking for work during the holidays. On the other hand, your friends will caution: “No one’s hiring.”
I’d like to suggest another approach—continue with the 7 most important activities that will keep your momentum going. When the New Year rolls around, you’ll be better prepared to compete in this new job market.
- Speak and think positively about your job search. Prepare yourself emotionally to talk with family and business connections, when you might have to explain why you are in transition. Find a way to speak dispassionately about your current job loss. Be sure to include a future statement in your explanation, so that you engage help, not pity. Paint a picture of what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Give a couple of different examples of what you’re looking for. Here’s a possible script:
“Our department is just one of several that were downsized. I plan to use the skills I learned as a Project Manager to get an even better position. This time, I’ll be looking for a vendor company, so I can learn more about the sourcing side of the business.”
- Go shopping and to holiday parties prepared to talk about your job search. People are often more outgoing during holiday shopping. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation while you’re waiting in line at Target or TJ Maxx. You will be surprised what you can learn from total strangers about job hunting.
Continue networking on a business level, and by all means, go to parties during this season. Some professional organizations even provide “free” holiday parties to gain new members. Be sure to prepare what you will say, and take lots of business cards. If you don’t have a business card for your job search, take advantage of the printing specials (like VistaPrint)and get one now.
- Refine and upgrade your resume: Use holiday time to create or polish your resume. Make sure your resume contains the same key words used in the job descriptions for which you are applying. For example, if you are seeking a job in marketing, you may wish to consider changing the words “advertising” and “public relations” in your resume to “marketing.” Also consider shortening the language and bumping up the type size to at least a 10 point font. Make the resume easy to scan for information.
- Write your perfect job ad. Use the language of job ads to inspire you by creating an ad for you perfect job. Paste it in your planner or your computer background and read it each day. By carrying it with you, you are sharpening your mental focus, a very practical way to manifest the right job and “will” it to appear. You will also feel more positive when you read job ads, because they will appear closer to your target.
- Keep yourself organized by tracking your search. As you make connections, submit resumes, and perform other job search functions, make sure you take the time to record your efforts. (If you are collecting unemployment, chances are you need to report on your job search anyway.)
If you know a database program such as Salesforce.com, Huntr, Excel or Access, by all means, use that. You can get a free 90-day subscription to most systems. For most of us, an Excel spreadsheet does the trick.
- Send Holiday Greetings by mail, email, and telephone. Include a self-composed sentence or two giving your personal thanks to the individual. Harness the spirit of the season to amp up your gratitude. Thank your former clients, vendors, and coworkers. Thank bosses and mentors. Thank everyone who has helped you. Here’s a sample message you might use:
“As I think about the last year, I realize that a great part of my success is due to my association with you. Thank you for challenging me, coaching me, and encouraging me. You bring so much to my life.”
- Take some time off to enjoy the season. Decide when you will work on your job search, and set office hours for the search. Make this an exercise in being “present.” When you are working, stick to it. When you are shopping, enjoy shopping. When you are with family or friends, give that your full attention. Arrange movie dates with friends. Spend some time walking outdoors. Go to a lighting ceremony or go caroling. Go ice skating or do something you used to do as a child. Do things to keep yourself inspired, whether it’s going to a great (free) concert or watching a rerun of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with friends. Be present to your own wonderful life.
You’ll come out of these holidays refreshed and ready to land that perfect job in the New Year!
On your side,
The Career Passion® Coach
#jobseeking #holidays #careertransition #jobhunt #jobhunting (etc.)