How to Manage the Holidays and Your Job Search Well
By Jennifer Parris
It might feel like the holidays and job hunting are polar opposites. After all, how can you be expected to job search when there are so many things you have to do during the holiday season? But before you decide to forego your job search completely, learn how to manage the holidays and your job search well. Yes, it can be done!
- Be realistic. You can’t be expected to crank out the same number of job applications and also keep up with making the holidays merry and bright for your entire family. You won’t be able to get everything done every single day… and you have to be okay with that. Actually, it’s better to indulge in the holidays. If you are spending too much time at your desk while everyone is having fun, you’re going to feel left out and it will have a ripple effect on your job search. You might try to submit job applications faster in an effort to spend more time with your family, or apply for positions that you’re not qualified for—or don’t really care to get. That’s a waste of your time, so focus instead on making the time you’re spending on job searching worthwhile. Even if you’re submitting only one or two applications a day, make them count by customizing them to the job description and making your cover letter interesting and engaging.
- Tackle smaller projects. With all the demands that the holidays place on your time, you may find that your typical job searching routine will suffer a bit. But that doesn’t mean you should stop searching and wait until the new year to resume your search. Instead of trying to do everything that you usually do during a regular job search day, focus instead on smaller—but significant—projects that you haven’t had time for. You might want to redesign your resume (and hide those glaring employment gaps) or have a friend review your cover letter to look for any glaring grammatical errors. You may even have a moment of clarity and conclude that you’d rather be a teacher than a transcriptionist and start your career change. By focusing on smaller projects, you’ll give yourself sustained momentum to get through the holidays while still feeling like you’re being proactive in your job search.
- Be creative with your time. Let’s face it: the holidays take up a lot of time. That’s why you’re going to need to be creative with yours in order to maximize your efficiency and get it all done. It might mean waking up earlier than your kids in order to scan the latest job descriptions, or you might have to burn the midnight oil as you apply for positions. You might find that no two days are the same, so you’ll have to adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Find your balance. If you’re looking for a flexible job, then you know that it’s one of the best ways to balance your work life with your personal life. Thing is, the rigors of the holiday season might throw you off balance. You might find that some days you’re spending more time with your kids than you are crafting quality job applications. By being aware of how you’re spending your time, you can resolve to put more time and energy into your job search the next day. The most important thing to remember is to take care of yourself, otherwise you run the risk of burning out, which won’t help your family or your job search.
- Have a positive mindset. If you think that you should put your job search on hold during the holidays because companies aren’t hiring, think again. It’s a myth that companies don’t hire during the holidays; in fact, there are many businesses that hire both seasonal and permanent workers during the holidays. So switch your mindset and keep your job search warm during the cold winter months. You’ll actually have a better chance of getting hired, since other job seekers might simmer their searches because they’re busy with the holidays or they might have bought into the belief that quality jobs are sparse during the holidays.
The holidays are a great time to practice an attitude of gratitude and take stock of where you are in life. That means learning how to balance your job search with the holidays. You never know; your present for being a diligent job seeker during the holidays might be a brand-new job come the new year.
Leave a Comment: How do you work to balance the busyness of the holiday season with future employment opportunities? What are a few smaller job search projects you could tackle or some ways in which you could become more creative with your time?
Jennifer Parris is a Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs.
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