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How to Make the Most of a Holiday Job Search

December 21, 1999
Related Topics: Your HR Career, Featured Article
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Especially if you’re thinking of making a job change, or even out of work, it’s tempting to succumb to depression at this festive season of the year. But keep in mind that the highest percentage of job offers are generally made during the first quarter of the year. The following hints will help you overcome holiday depression and capitalize on the networking opportunities the season provides.

  • Volunteer. While there are volunteer opportunities year-round, many charities need extra help during the holidays. Prepare or serve meals at a shelter or help organize a food, clothing or gift drive. It will be an energizing experience and will help job seekers put their own situation in perspective.
  • If you’re invited to a party or professional function, go. By staying at home and isolating themselves, job seekers not only feed their depression, but lose out on valuable opportunities to connect with other people.
  • Set goals for your job search. Even in December, job seekers should set a target number of networking contacts to make, letters to send, meetings to set up with hiring managers, etc. Job seekers should aim for these goals and reward themselves when they meet them.
  • Be positive. Job seekers should try to feel comfortable with the fact that they are not working by thinking about interesting people they’ve met during their job search and the new perspective they’ve gained on career goals. Job seekers should emphasize the positive to themselves and others.
  • Take advantage of the season by calling old friends and acquaintances. The holidays offer a no-risk excuse to call, catch up and offer good wishes for the new year. The door is open for a serious networking call in January.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. At a party or even at home, drinking too much alcohol will impair a job seeker’s ability to network effectively and perform other job search tasks. For many people, alcohol consumption leads to a heightened sense of sadness.

SOURCE: Lee Hecht Harrison, Irvine, CA.

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