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How to Handle the Holidays While You’re Looking for a Job

The sights and sounds of the holidays are here!

Alas, many job seekers don’t much feel like spreading cheer.

“What will I be able to give without the salary I seek?”

“Will companies still be hiring during a holiday week?”

Carols, presents and parties by the day,

While the job seeker is stuck inside, perfecting a resume.

‘Tis the season for finding a job! Unlike Santa “One Day of Work a Year” Claus, finding the right fit for your career is a year-round gig. While job seekers can’t always choose the time of year they might be searching for a new job, the challenge becomes especially difficult when it happens during the holiday season. With all of the social obligations swirling around end of year festivities, committing to professional development at the same time might sound harder than delivering presents to every kid in the world in a single night!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your job search this holiday season, don’t become a Grinch! After all, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of folks in similar situations. Here’s how to handle the holidays if you’re looking for a job during the most wonderful time of the year:

Hiring is Happening

Many people buy into the assumption that companies are not actively hiring around the holiday season. The theory goes that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, hiring managers avoid bringing on new employees for reasons ranging from lack of time for interviews to end of year budgeting concerns. However, this perception is actually a myth!

When a position becomes available at a company, especially if the role is in demand, it’s in an organization’s best interest to fill that position as soon as possible – regardless of the time of year! Don’t assume just because more employees might be using time off that there will not be time for job interviews. Keep tabs on your job boards and organizations of interest throughout the holiday season to be alerted of new positions as they come available.

Additionally, some companies may be looking for temporary, seasonal help. While this may not be exactly what you’re looking for at the time, temporary positions can add great experience to a resume and often become permanent, so keep these options in mind!

Take Time to Enjoy the Season

If you’ve been searching for a job for a while now, you probably know it can be a struggle to stay positive. The marathon process of applying to jobs, waiting for feedback, scheduling stressful interviews and waiting some more is mentally exhausting in its own right. When you add in the additional stress of the holiday season, it can be enough pressure to make even the most confident person crack.

If you’re feeling the job search blues over the next few months, do not hesitate to take some time for yourself! Whether you’re feeling connected to your career or not, everyone deserves to spend the holidays reconnecting with the family, friends and communities that are important to them. If you’re debating taking a few hours off of applying to jobs to meet up with people who will energize your spirit, go for it! Not only will you come back to the task at hand refreshed and recharged, but you never know which conversation might spur a new idea or connect you with your next opportunity.

How to Give Before You Receive 

Job seekers are resourceful. When money gets tight, there are countless ways to cut corners and save pennies day-to-day. After a while, these frugal habits can quickly become second nature! That is, until, major events like holiday parties start popping up. How can you be a part of the fun if you’re running out of funds?

Get creative this season! More than anything, your loved ones have requested your presence at their holiday celebrations because they want to spend time with you (which is always the greatest gift of all!) If you want to go above and beyond, consider making small gestures that can make a big impact without the big bucks. For example, you can write a heartfelt letter or create a collage of photographs for friends this year.

Now is also a great time to apply the job skills you might not be using professionally to brighten the days of those around you. Are you looking for graphic design work? Offer to design your parents’ party invitations! How about if you love animals but can’t find the right veterinary job? Maybe this year you can offer to walk a friend’s pets while they travel! You might not be able to buy everyone the world this season of giving, but you’ll still be able to give them a piece of your heart.

Looking for a job is one of the most challenging things a person can do at any time of the year, let alone during the holiday season. It’s important to keep committed because companies are still hiring this time of year. However, making time to connect with family, friends and loved ones in your own special way is always important and appreciated.

What are your tips for handling the holidays while trying to find a new job? Join the conversation in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “How to Handle the Holidays While You’re Looking for a Job

  1. Unfortunately, some companies (corporate America) do not operate with a heart or a conscience. I was downsized (along with a few other employees) from a federal services contractor on Nov 30 2018. No warning or career services offered. Since we were contracted with an outside agency, the burden is `supposedly’ with the contracting agency. Resultantly, this downsize has impacted my life and holidays plans. I refuse to allow this mis-managed company to rule or ruin my life. Found solace in your article with the hope and promise of the future. Am back in the saddle and seeking/applying for employment.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Marsty! There’s never an easy time to be confronted with career change, let alone during the holiday season. We appreciate your readership, and wish you best of luck along your job search!

  3. I have been trying to search for a better job; I currently have a job working in a Deli making $11.25 an hour; I have a Bachelors Degree from Pittsburg State University in General Studies with an emphasis in Health, Human Performance, and Recreation; but I am in need of a Kidney Transplant and I should be on the list sometime at the end of this month/year!

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