The holidays are often a time for a mental break from all the hard work we’ve been putting into our jobs throughout the year. But if your only job right now is looking for a job, you can’t afford to mentally check out. Believe it or not, the holidays can actually be one of the best times to conduct a job search.
1. Time to reflect.
The end of the year is a good time to reflect back on what you’ve accomplished the previous 12 months. This reflection will boost your confidence in your abilities and will give you ideas to add to your resume.
2. Networking opportunities
Holiday parties and events are great places to reconnect with people in your network and to meet new people who could possibly introduce you to someone in a hiring position. But don’t make people feel like they’re being networked. Focus this time on developing and maintaining relationships. And go easy on the eggnog so you don’t develop a reputation that will be remembered long after you recycle your Christmas tree.
3. Deals on interview attire.
The day after Christmas sales are a great time to find a good interview suit at an affordable price. It’s also a good time to try on such clothing because you’re likely to be at your heaviest weight and will have a suit you can have tailored down when necessary (because you can’t tailor up)! When friends and family ask you what you’d like for Christmas, tell them you’d like department store gift cards so you can use them to pay for your interview attire. Purchasing from a department store is ultimately more affordable because most department stores offer free alterations.
4. Prepare for an interview at the new year.
The new year is when many job opportunities open, which means you need to be prepared for a possible interview in January. Preparing for job interviews takes time because you have to conduct research on the industry (current trends and issues), the companies you’re interested in (beyond just looking at their website), and yourself (be prepared to talk about your strongest skills and tell stories about ways you’ve demonstrated those skills in the past). Use any available time you have during the month of December to do your research and prepare your answers to behavioral questions so you can hit the ground running in 2017.
The holidays can be stressful, but being unprepared for an interview can be even more stressful, especially if you’ve used the holidays as an excuse to slack off during your job search. As with anything, make sure you find balance. Schedule a certain amount of time (at least 20 hours per week) for your job search, and prioritize your remaining time for what’s most important: family and thanksgiving.
Tell us in the comments how YOU plan to best utilize the holidays during your job search.
Lori Bumgarner is a passion and career specialist and owner of paNASH, a Nashville-based career coaching service. She is passionate about helping people through the job search process and helping them find the work they love. To subscribe to her newsletter and receive a complimentary Goal-Achievement Plan visit www.yourpassioninlife.com or email her at email@example.com.