Being out of work during the holidays may be the greatest gift of all.
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job Search
Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Bah Humbug. When you’re out of work, it’s sometimes difficult to get into the holiday spirit while you’re mind is focused on finding a job.
Years ago, I remember attending a job search meeting where the facilitator told us “everything closes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Trying to find a job is a waste of time.” I might add that she also said the entire business community shuts down in the summer, and you should forget trying to land anything between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Quite a vision of optimism, wasn’t she?!
But you know what? Debbie Downer was wrong. Completely wrong. I had four interviews the week prior to Christmas. Somehow these businesses didn’t get her memo.
When it comes to job search, the holidays are some of the BEST times to get out there. Here’s what happens during the holidays. People are nicer. They’re more likely to make time for you. They’re trying to get things handled this year, to get ready for next year. They try not to travel. What are they going to do? Sit at their desk all day. No, they’d rather be meeting with people like you and having interesting conversations. Give them that opportunity.
But, if you decide to take some time off yourself, it’s okay. The holidays can be very hectic when you’re working, but they take on a much calmer pace when you have the gift of time. Take advantage of that. Be appreciative that for once, you can get your shopping done early. You can take your time, peruse the stores, find the best sales. Here are seven other ideas of things to do with your magical gift of time:
1. Send out handwritten greeting cards – and put in a personal note.
2. Go ice skating in the middle of the day.
3. Catch up on the latest movies during the weekly matinee – no crowds. Cheaper prices.
4. Hang out at the mall – and take in the music and decorations. Watch the kids line up to take a picture with Santa (It will bring you sheer joy!).
5. Volunteer at a food bank, Toys for Tots, the gift wrap at the mall, or your local church/place of worship.
6. Meet other job seekers for coffee.
7. Go to a museum or art exhibit – or browse around a bookstore or library (my personal definition of art!). Maybe plan your next vacation (for when you land the perfect job).
So, go ahead. Give yourself a vacation. Sit back and appreciate the spirit of the holidays. Take some moments to reflect and appreciate the gift of time you’ve been given. Maybe in not thinking about your job search, you can actually gain greater insight as to the path you need to follow. Maybe that’s why you were given the gift of time in the first place.