For those of us that are gainfully employed doing something that we love, the holidays can be a time that we are able to focus on the more important aspects of life such as our loved ones. However, most of us are close to someone that is unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed. So, with the crazy schedules that surround November and December and the early part of January, how do we make our job search work for us more effectively?
1. Relax. This may sound crazy, but take a deep breath, focus on the things that are really important to you. Relaxing and enjoying your holidays will rejuvenate your psyche and restore a confidence in you that will positively impact your interviewing and networking opportunities.
2. Re-evaluate. If you are actively on the job market, due to unemployment, spend some time reflecting on the state of your job search. Is now a time to make a career change? Are there any untapped resources that you haven’t taken advantage of? Who is helping you in your job search?
3. Research. Have you targeted specific potential employers? Is now a busy time for their business, or a time when decision-makers are more likely to be on vacation? Know what to expect in your job search so that you can maintain realistic expectations in communication from prospective employers.
4. Be Ready. Because many prospective employers are juggling multiple personal commitments alongside demanding business schedules, interview schedules can be erratic at best. Be flexible with your availability so that potential employers are assured of your eagerness and willingness to become a part of their organization.
5. Relationships. Take time to connect with key support members of your job search. Friends, former colleagues, and our extended networks (i.e. kids’ activities, community activities, etc.) are great places to network and get support for our job search. Now is a great time to reconnect with people while spirits are generally high and giving is “in the air”.
Early in my career, my mentor lived by the principle “Do what you say you’re going to do and do the right thing for the right reason.” I took that to heart many years ago and it’s continued to help shape my values as a professional. During this holiday season, take some time to get back to the basics of who you are, why you do what you do, and where you are in comparison to where you want to be.
Be your best. Enjoy your loved ones. Focus on what’s important.