The Hidden Value of Job Hunting During the Holidays

December 10, 2009

It’s tough looking for a job in December. I’ve been there, and I know it’s not fun being in a job search during the holidays.

Right now, I personally know at least three dozen people who are between jobs. Though they’ve remained positive during these stressful times, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed with fear and negativity. Few employers are hiring in December. The economy is still bad and who knows what the future holds. On top of that, personal finances are likely strained during this season of materialism and consumerism.

On the other side of the coin, though, the holiday season can actually be a deeply meaningful time for job hunting. Done rightly, December can be a time of renewal and rejuvenation as you anticipate all the good things awaiting you in the coming new year.

Here’s my advice to anyone feeling trapped in a holiday job search:

  1. Spend quality time with family and friends. A stressful career transition can refocus you on life’s true priorities—family and friends. Surround yourself with people who truly care about you and your well-being. Let them know how important they are to you.
  2. Reconnect with your existing network. Update your professional contacts on the progress (or lack of) you are making. Remind them what you’re looking for. Suggest simple ways they can help. Look for ways to express gratitude for things they have already done.
  3. Make new friends. The holidays are a good time to network and meet new people at parties, religious services or other social events.
  4. Rethink your strategy. From time to time, we all need to think about what we’re doing and why. For me, nothing works quite like sitting alone in a coffee shop. I can clear the clutter in my mind, filter out distractions and experience a surge of creativity. The change of venue gives me a fresh perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things I’m Thankful For

November 23, 2009

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am reminded of the words of Melody Beattie who said, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” With a profoundly grateful heart, I share the following 10 things for which I am thankful.

  1. A job. I know far too many good and talented people who are unemployed. In graditude for my job, I look for ways to network with job seekers. I hope to encourage them and also to share what I’ve learned from my own career transitions.
  2. Holidays. Though I’m thankful for my job, I’m also grateful for time away from the office. Everyone needs a little downtime. I create pauses in my daily schedule to ground myself. I look forward to a weekly sabbatical away from work. And I enjoy the change of pace that a holiday like Thanksgiving can bring.
  3. My Family. Next month Carol and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage. This year we’ve welcomed two new members into our family—our son-in-law Nathan (Jennifer’s husband) and our daughter-in-law Annette (Bryan’s wife). We’re also thankful for our son Greg and his daughter Kayla, and for his new job as an elementary school teacher.
  4. My Friends. Friends are special, and thankful for each and every person in my life. I value the diversity of age, race, politics, religion, socioeconomic status, education and even personality. Together we share the adventure of life’s great journey, though we may be at different places along the path.
  5. Health. Good health is often unappreciated until it’s gone, but as a cancer survivor I want to live each day with an awareness of my health and well-being. (Living more healthfully will also be one of my upcoming New Year’s resolutions.) Read the rest of this entry »

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