Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How To Job Search Over The Holidays

Jean Baur, 11.15.10, 03:00 PM EST
People in career transition frequently throw in the towel once Thanksgiving hits. Why?

I didn't do very well in algebra, so I am the last person to write convincingly about equations. However, as a career counselor who has partnered with thousands of job seekers over the past 16 years, when I'm asked, "What will happen to my job search over the holidays?" I'm tempted to say: That depends upon what you put into it.

Here's the challenge: Intelligent, highly motivated people in career transition, frequently throw in the towel once Thanksgiving hits. Why? I have asked many of my clients if they went into hibernation while they were still working between late November and the New Year. Their answers were always no.

Nevertheless, the myth persists that it's difficult to get interviews or job offers during the holidays. My advice is to turn that myth to your advantage. What can you do if you're in transition and want to take advantage of the holiday season?

Network. Recognize that this is one of the best networking times of the year, as the holidays can make people more relaxed, open and generous. For those who are working, the holidays may be a somewhat slower period, which translates into more time they have to help you.

Be visible. Take advantage of holiday parties and other gatherings to be visible. Your message is a positive one: You've got great skills and abilities and are excited to be looking for a new opportunity to use them. And if you're not excited, say you are anyway as it motivates others to help you.

Send cards. Use e-cards as an easy way to connect or reconnect with your network. In addition to wishing your friends a good holiday, you can update them that your job search is going well, but that you're still looking for a position that uses your talents.

Be proactive. Invite neighbors over for coffee and dessert or create an event that will be fun for your children. Parents have a strong network that they often ignore--the parents of the children their child knows.

Get into the spirit. Get into the holiday spirit and do something nice for someone else. This could mean baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

Page 2 of Forbes Article

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