How to Weather the Perfect Storm: Holidays and the Job Search
This time of year can be challenging for us even under the best of circumstances; however, when you add the demands of a job search our stress levels can go through the roof. The good news is that there are steps we can take that will carry us through this challenging time. There are a few vital steps you may take to be successful in your job search and enjoy the holidays to the fullest:
Organization is our first priority. This is a time where making a daily list will be very important. For those of you have never been list makers—take heart—I suggest that you only list those items that I would define as "small sweet steps.” These are the smallest of steps that you need to do in order to continue moving forward in your job search and keep yourself on track with any holiday activities, as well. By keeping track of your small sweet steps, you will not lose focus, feel overwhelmed, and will experience a feeling of accomplishment as you check each item as it is completed. Now for those of you who are obsessive list makers, I am going to suggest that you rein it in and rather than add to your already lengthy daily list, keep your list to a maximum of 10 items.
Patience will be your new best friend during this time of year. Organizations may be slower in responding to applications, setting up interviews, or following up with applicants. They may also be experiencing a staff shortage due to their own staff taking vacation days, limited staffing, etc. Patience can also be exercised in being realistic with the demands you place on yourself. Whenever you feel your internal stress-o-meter begin to rise, it is important to ask yourself, “What is more interesting: placing unrealistic demands on myself and those around me or taking a deep breath and looking at what great gifts, such as family and friends, already exist and expressing gratefulness for all that I already have?”
Relationships give you the opportunity to create your own customized marketing and support team. While you are out enjoying the holiday parties, keep in mind that these events can also be great opportunities for networking. Friends, family, and current and past co-workers provide numerous eyes and ears for any potential job openings. While you don’t want to corner every individual and spill your guts about looking for a job, you do want to be positive and open to opportunities where you can discuss that you are currently looking so that they can "please keep you in mind" if anything should become open.
Pay attention to joy. What a great time of year to enjoy what we do have in our lives. To spend moments with those who are important to us and take the time to celebrate the season. There are some wonderful things to do in Omaha that do not cost a lot of money during this time of year. Walking through the lighted Gene Leahy Mall, listening to the Carolers in the Old Market, or visiting the huge Christmas tree at the Durham Western Heritage Museum can stir the child in all of us. While finding the time to enjoy the simplest of activities can be rewarding, if you still find yourself dancing with the blues, the best way to help yourself is to reach out and help others. What better time of year than the holiday season to help those in need?
I promise you that by concentrating on these four areas, you will find this holiday season enjoyable, relaxing, as well as focused on your future direction!