Managing Unemployment During the Holidays
T’is the season. While the month of December heralds in sentiments of merriment and cheer, it is also prime season for corporate restructurings and layoffs. Fact: Corporations issue most of their pink slips in December & January. For those just learning that they have lost their job, the tidings of joy and good cheer will be overridden by the feelings of despair; and if you already are in between jobs, managing unemployment during the holiday season can be emotionally draining. Our career coaches specifically counsel clients to change the paradigm for their job search during this period.
1. Take a Break
Just take a break. As the holiday season approaches, most employers go into cruise control. They manage the business just enough to get through the official holidays. Holiday luncheons and parties can often result in lowered staff levels. Most hiring managers will defer interviews to the the New Year. If you have already had an initial interview, this is not a good time to follow up. Instead, send the interviewer a personalized holiday greeting card and save the follow up call for the New Year. And, if you have had no luck with your job search for months, now is a good time to stop sending out new applications. Instead, you can remain engaged in your quest for employment in other ways.
This is an excellent time to shift your networking skills into high gear. Reconnect with former coworkers, colleagues and friends. If you have a contact at a company you want to work for, see if you can accompany him or her to the holiday party. Don’t decline invitations when you receive them. Networking does not have to be expensive or elaborate. With Ride Programs in full force, no one will question you for having a coffee or just one drink. You can also host a party inexpensively by making it pot luck. And if you go to parties, home-made food is all the rage for gifting.
While corporate employees start to wind down, the folks at charitable organizations hit their busy season. The weeks leading up to the holidays are prime time for fundraisers. This is a great time to volunteer. You may also be able to pick up a temporary job with a local charity in your neighborhood. Even if it is not in your normal line of work, this is an amazing way to meet new people. Widening your circle of contacts is very important when you are unemployed. You never know where the next job referral will come from.
You can volunteer for a set number of hours each week and also make it part of a family activity that you all do together. Spending time at a local charity can be a fulfilling reminder that someone is worse off than you. And this alone can be useful for keeping your spirits nurtured when times are tough.
4. Career Coaching
If you have been out of work for a while it may be time for you to re-evaluate and stop doing the same thing over and over again. A session with a career coach can bring a fresh perspective to your job search campaign. Our career coaches are trained professionals who have spent years helping people market themselves to employers. We can review your situation and help you with an effective job search strategy for implementation in the New Year.
While December and January are known for layoffs, the first quarter is ripe for new projects and new hires. If there is an optimal time for you to be at the very top of your game in job hunting, this is it. We are keenly aware of how competitive the job market is. We can help you stay focused with razor sharpness to get results.
These four tips for managing unemployment will allow you to continue your job search while also permitting you some time to have fun. After all, it is the holiday season and we believe that even the unemployed have the right to partake in sentiments of merriment and cheer.
Author: Susan Heim | Top Four Tips for Managing Unemployment During the Holidays
Cover Photo: Source Flickr, CC