Even if you’re desperate to find a new job and working hard at the process, the approach of Christmas acts like brandied eggnog on the brain. “Why bother sending out resumes when everyone is in a holiday mode,” you say. Guess what? Until you get the job you want you must stay in full battle mode. You have to keep the momentum going or you’ll be starting from scratch in January. (Talk about a hangover!) Second, busy execs may have more time to look at resumes and schedule interviews if they’re off the road and business has slowed. Take positive steps to keep yourself moving ahead.
1. Do not say no to a single social or quasi-business event this month. Don’t forget your trade or professional society holiday gala. Even if you can’t afford the lunch or dinner you could drop by and discreetly greet a few old friends. You are thrilled if your former co-workers invite you out for a drink. You will donate a pair of mittens to a charity — and work the room at the same time. Caroling with a religious group at nursing home? What better use of your time can you envision? Why? These may be social events for them but they are networking opportunities for you. Do not take resumes. Get their business cards and send them. Create a second point of contact.
2. If you can’t get a part-time job, volunteer. Do not sit home because it’s too much trouble to put on your game face and perform. You have already searched your pantry and closets and can confirm there are no unfilled jobs lurking there.
3. Call people you haven’t talked to in six months and wish them happy holidays. You will pick up some additional invitations to stop by the office or meet elsewhere. Visibility in job hunting is at least as important as being the “best” candidate — as if that could be measured!
4. Put together a wish list of contacts for family and friends and send it with your holiday cards. We know you already told them but can it hurt to remind them?
Finally, a little method acting is in order. Pin a sprig of holly on your lapel and make everyone wish they could hire you. If you’re gloomy in the face of effervescence who needs that? In other words, create a cheerful demeanor you don’t feel in advance of getting the job you want. Anyone can be a cheerful success.
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