How to Survive the Holidays as a Jobseeker
By Giana / November 21, 2016
The holiday season can be rough on those who are unemployed or engaged in a long and frustrating job search. Here’s how to keep your spirits up.
If you’re on the job market right now, you may be scanning your calendar and wonder how you’ll survive the challenges of the upcoming holiday season. You may be assuming—as many job seekers do—that hiring slows down during the winter months, or you may be facing a packed schedule of social events and wondering how you’ll keep your search on track with so many time-consuming distractions in your path.
Fear not! Contrary to what you might imagine, the holiday season actually provides a much-needed boost to most unemployed or underemployed job seekers. If you stay on top of your search and stay engaged with your friends and family (also known as your network), you may step into the new year with an offer in hand. Keep these considerations in mind as we move forward into the fall.
Hiring doesn’t slow down; it speeds up.
Non-seasonal employers with fairly steady business models don’t abandon the hiring process during the holiday season. In fact, many employers work hard to get open positions filled before the new year begins. And, annual reviews often bring a shake up and a host of opening as a result of departures, retirements, and promotions. While companies schedule holiday parties and some employees plan their winter vacations, HR departments buckle down and get busy. Take advantage of this moment and get your resume into the right hands.
Avoid burn-out and depression.
Short days and cold weather can bring out the inner pessimist in all of us, and if you’ve been on the market for a long time, the darkest part of the winter can feel a little discouraging. While your friends are celebrating, you may be worrying about your job prospects and feeling left out of the fun. To avoid burnout and exhaustion, get plenty of sleep and exercise, spend time with your loved ones, and recognize when it’s time to take a short break and get outside.
They’re not just parties—they’re networking opportunities.
No matter how busy you are with your cover letter drafts and Linkedin profile updates, keep your social interactions on the front burner. Don’t waste time, but stay in circulation. Say yes to invitations, dinners, holiday gatherings, and Thanksgiving get-togethers. When you show up, engage. Talk, ask, listen, introduce yourself to strangers, share your story, discuss your job search, ask people about their work and careers, and let them know that you’re at a turning point in your own. You really can’t predict what might result from these discussions, so be bold and keep an open mind. This is how networking works.
Keep an eye on your funds.
While you’re enjoying yourself, don’t add money woes to your list of concerns about the future. Try not to overspend and blow your holiday budget. You can make it up to yourself next year.
Soup kitchens, shelters, food banks, blood drives, and other organizations tend to go into overdrive during the winter holiday season, for two clear reasons: The winter represents a time of need, and most people feel a spike in generosity during these cold months. Embrace this trend, and go forth in search of opportunities to share what you have with those who have less. Not only will this help you ward off discouragement, it can help you exercise your work ethic, leadership, and organizational skills. Use them and you’re less likely to lose them.
To keep your job search active during the holiday season—and maybe end your search altogether by landing a new position—turn to the resources available on LiveCareer.