If you use the Internet for any reason these days (like a job search?), you can’t help but notice all the advice swirling around on how to capitalize on this holiday season for your job search.
Sure, you can find all kinds of networking events to attend – professional and personal; some employers may still be hiring this year and you don’t want to miss out, so submit that resume now; stay up-to-date on your LinkedIn discussions and professional Tweets; research new industries that may get government grants in 2010 and will need to hire, so be ready – and on and on. Getting dizzy? I know I am just watching these info clouds race by – and as a career coach, I’ve been spouting off some these things myself!
But let’s get real. What’s most important right now?
Of course, paying the bills and putting food on the table take priority. Hopefully, you’re still able to do that. Some traditional, seasonal temporary jobs are still available (e.g., UPS) if you hurry. But if you are getting by – however weak you’re safety net is – I suggest taking a break from full time job search this month.
“Whoa! What’s wrong with her?” I can hear you all say. Pleeeez, I’m not advocating total irresponsibility here, just taking a break. If you’ve been laid off for any period of time, you are fully aware of how all the money matters pile up. Either you’re staying on top of it now or you’re not. A one-month job search break is probably not going to make a big difference. So stop worrying, OK?
Instead of busting your chops on your job search during this traditional month of giving, devote the time to self-care – give to yourself!
I recommend spending this month renewing your energy and your spirit. Get reacquainted with who you are as a person. Discover what it is about life that you love. Engage in the activities that will help you like yourself better, build your self-confidence, and strengthen your resolve to attack this job search process again in January – full steam ahead!
Mindful of cost, here’s a brief self-care list to get you started. But don’t just use mine – make your own. Self-care is only meaningful if done on your terms – do stretch a little, please:
- Read that book you’ve wanted to open, but just couldn’t find the time. Use your public library instead of a bookstore to find it.
- Call a friend and set a date to meet for coffee. Promise yourself you won’t mention your job search (good or bad) at any time while you’re together.
- Schedule time with your partner to play – you fill in the “how.” Again, no job search talk allowed. Give all your attention to him/her unconditionally.
- Find a new place to walk your dog or jog – even if you have to drive a few miles to get there. The new sights and sounds will open your mind to nature’s gifts to you.
- Listen – really listen – to your children as they share their life stories. See them in a new light as real people, not just as your kids. Amazing people, aren’t they?
- Start a journal of your thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams. No, this isn’t corny. Once on paper things take on a new perspective. You don’t have to share this with anyone.
- Sing songs in the shower or car – who cares if someone hears you? Belt them out!
- Seek out opportunities for belly laughs – those uncontrollable, hard-to-breathe, tears-in-the-eyes kind. They are so soul cleansing and make you feel truly alive.
- Befriend someone less fortunate than you. Give something small to make them feel appreciated. Yes, believe it or not, there are people worse off than you. (Even a canned item to the food pantry can uplift you in the spirit of giving.)
- Attend the worship services of your choice and enjoy being part of a community that shares its spirituality.
- Invite a gathering of friends to celebrate the holidays with you – potluck style and no gifts.
I hope my list helps you get going. Just remember, your goal is to enrich yourself by giving non-materially to you as well as to others. If you really can’t let go of your job search for the entire month, try doing so for a couple of weeks. Believe me, the shift in your focus will do wonders for healing your mojo, rebuilding your self-esteem, and getting you motivated for tackling the new year’s challenges, whatever they may be.
SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of career experts who will each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. And follow our hashtag #careercollective on Twitter:
@MartinBuckland, Elite Resumes, "Season’s Greetings and your Job Search”
@GayleHoward, The Executive Brand, It's Christmas: And a ho-ho-ho-hum?"
@KCCareerCoach, Career Chaos, “The Gift Every Laid Off Job Seeker Needs"
@resumeservice, Resume Writing Blog,“Holiday Resume Sparkle: Outshine the New Year Job-Search Mob”
@heathermundell, life@work, “Have a Holly Jolly Job Search”
@sweetcareers,Sweet Careers, “Holiday Job Search Tips for College Students 2009″
@careersherpa, Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa, “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Cheers”
@careerealism, CAREEREALISM.com, “Holiday Tip for Job Seekers: 4 Ways to Impress Others with Your Professionalism”
@heatherhuhman, HeatherHuhman.com, “4 Tips for Making the Most of Holiday Job Hunting”
@LaurieBerenson, Sterling Career Concepts, “Three Resolutions to Take It Up a Notch”
@KatCareerGal, Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog, “Avoiding the Holiday Blues in Your Job Search”
@WorkWithIllness, WorkingWithillness.com, “Avoid this Minefield: No Holiday Here!”
@DawnBugni, “The Write Solution Could that sound really be opportunity? During the Holidays?”
@andyinnaples, “Shift Your Focus to the Highest Impact Job Search Activities During the Holidays to Leverage Your Time”
@erinkennedycprw, Professional Resume Services, “How to keep up the Job Hunt during the Holidays”
@keppie_careers, Keppie Careers, “Four tips for effective networking follow-up for the holidays and the rest of the year”
@ValueIntoWords, Career Trend, “Navigating the Mistle Toe of Job Search”
@GLHoffman, What Would Dad Say, “Merry Christmas! Can I Buy You Coffee to Talk About Me?”
@BarbaraSafani, Career Solvers, “Holiday Networking Can Facilitate New Year Opportunities”
@expatcoachmegan, Career By Choice Blog, “Expat Networking: Holidays Are a Great Time to Nurture and Grow Your Network”
@chandlee, The Emerging Professional Blog, “Footprints & Associations: Job Search Tips for the Holidays”