The holiday season can be a challenge for job seekers. Those who are frustrated by a long search may despair over a perceived lack of success in the search (so far) or fears associated with decreased or no income. For others, there’s the challenge of keeping spirits high when around family, friends and other revellers. If you are looking for work, you may assume that because people are busy with holiday activities they won’t have time for you. Or, job seekers may assume that hiring decisions aren’t made toward the end of the year!job
Here are some suggestions to help make the last weeks of your 2016 job hunt effective, efficient and as comfortable as possible.
Secret #1 – Keep up your job search momentum. Don’t slow down because of assumptions about hiring during the holiday season or the last month of the calendar year.
The holiday season tends to be a time when busy hiring authorities also find the time to be more available for conversations, informational interviews and networking introductions. We tend to assume that, with the extra stress of the season, networking contacts may be too busy to squeeze us into their calendar; I’ve found the opposite is true. They are more likely to squeeze you in. I’m not certain why, but I think all of us tend to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays and simply allow the room in our busy schedule to be more available to those asking for help.
There is also concern that even if a company is still hiring in December that they may be close to the end of their budget year and put off issuing offers until after the New Year. This may or may not be true. You can’t know so it only makes sense to keep up your good work.
Secret #2 – when you compare yourself with others you can create internal despair if you don’t measure up. So, if you’re a job-seeker who is unemployed or underemployed, don’t look with envy at others whom you assume might be gainfully employed. You simply don’t know what is true for another, you only know what is true for you. This year choose to only measure yourself against your own targets for success, wealth and happiness.
With the holiday season in the spotlight, at every turn there are presents to buy, trees to trim, candles to light, special meals to prepare, parties to attend and charities wanting year-end donations. If it is a season when you’re feeling cash poor it can be a struggle and a temptation to simply ‘charge it’ and risk overspending your job-seeker budget. It’s easy to compare the haves to the have-nots and to mark yourself in the latter column. Avoid the urge to compare yourself at all to anything other than personal benchmarks–recognizing grace for your job-seeking state. If you catch yourself with a running internal dialogue that questions your self-worth, remember that life is a classroom and not a test. Your intrinsic value isn’t on the line based on your ability to give gifts this year or in any other. In my experience as a holiday time job-seeker, I found I was content to do more homemade gifts; scale back the gift list and look for joy in the simplicity of the season. By not comparing myself or my situation to others, I was happier and had a better experience of the moment.
Secret #3 – You may end the year not knowing the outcome of your job seeking efforts, but perseverance and persistence will eventually pay off.
Will you or won’t you end the year with a job? I can’t say. One year, during my own job search, I crisscrossed the US most of December doing onsite interviews with five prospective employers. I had worked diligently to get that much momentum in my search and was excited to know that the end was very near. However, on about the 15th of December my job search went dark. Sure, I could find networking contacts to speak with, but the decision-makers for those five companies were unavailable. I stewed over whether they had gone cold about me as a candidate. Every gift I wrapped was taped with worry about whether I would ever get back to work. My New Year’s resolution came out like a broken tearful plea, “I will be working in the New Year… sniff…I hope” rather than a statement of confident intention. So as the New Year’s ball came down, so did my hopes that I would be working by the end of the year. Things seemed dire and bleak. I moped around New Year’s Day and escaped into movies, football and food. However, by January 5th I had five job offers in hand and regretted all the moping and dread I had experienced. Like a winter’s scene snow globe, I should have simply let the flakes fall, knowing that I would manage whatever came to pass. So, don’t put arbitrary deadlines on your search and don’t broadcast worry. What will be will be and temporary delays aren’t necessarily denials of what you want. Happy Holidays!
Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you find your dream job this holiday season? Connect with Lynden, browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!
Lynden Kidd is the CEO and Chief Career Strategist with Captivating Careers. A successful and sought after executive coach, trainer, author, and speaker, she is a hiring process expert. As an accomplished career consultant, Lynden has interviewed thousands of job seekers, led more than 300 career development training sessions serving 500+ job seekers resulting in employment and enhanced job performance for hundreds of professionals.