Eggnog. Snowflakes. Resumes. These are a few of my favorite (holiday job searching) things.
December is a paradox. With so much to get done, there is also the need to slow down and relax. End of year projects and deadlines are looming. Emails are sent and out-of-office replies are received. This time of year can be stressful, and even more so if you are looking to make a career change. If you are job searching this holiday season, try these strategies to ensure your search is merry and bright!
Attend your friend’s/partner’s holiday party
Ranging from informal gatherings at local restaurants to large-scale events, holiday office parties come in all shapes and sizes. Often, people are encouraged to bring a plus one, or there may be a spontaneous after party at a nearby bar. Be open to these experiences. Chances are, your friend or partner won’t want to go alone and these parties are a great way to meet local professionals in your area. Win-win!
Find a community outreach program this season. Check your local church or spiritual center, community center, or explore neighborhood events. Not only will you be helping others, you’ll have the chance to meet new people, network with the event directors and connect with several non-profit organizations. Volunteering is a great strategy for any job search, and this time of year it’s easier than ever to get involved. Looking for more organizations? Check out: Idealist.org.
Spend quality time with friends and family
Be in the moment when you are with your friends and family. While finding a new opportunity can be stressful, choose not to let it get in the way of meaningful time with the people that matter most. Refocus on what’s important to you. Reconnecting with your values, your history and who you are can give you strength and recharge your efforts. Remember, family and friends can help during challenging times.
Send holiday messages on LinkedIn
Reconnect with your former colleagues, mentors and your FIU Alumni Association by sending messages, inviting others to events and striking up a conversation. Sending a “Wishing you a wonderful holiday season” note on LinkedIn is a great way to engage to your network. Starting a conversation might lead to checking in with each other’s lives and career, which will continue to build your relationship.
Grab cocoa with former coworkers
Follow your LinkedIn holiday message with an action step! Invite your connection for coffee. Setting up informational interviews is an effective way to expand your network and is the cornerstone of your job search strategy. These coffee or cocoa chats can be with former colleagues or new connections at your targeted companies. Focus on creating new opportunities for yourself by proactively setting up your own meetings with professionals in your industry.
This is a great time to explore and gain new perspectives. Get on a plane to a place you’ve never been. Visit home for the holidays. Or, simply discover a new neighborhood or local spot that you haven’t had the time to visit. With the holidays quickly approaching, you can discover last minute travel deals on airfare and hotels so tap into that wanderlust and get going!
Focus on the new year ahead
What do you want to accomplish in the new year? What are your goals? What life do you want to lead? Create S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based). Contain action items, tasks and deliverables. What do you want to do, by when? Does it require additional training? What are some other resources to assist you in meeting your goals? S.M.A.R.T. goals are a great way to focus your plan and efforts.
Write down everything you are thankful for
When was the last time you wrote down or genuinely thought about what you’re thankful for? There is always a reason to be grateful. Here’s a great article with videos.
For more holiday job searching tips, visit my favorite blogger, Alison Green.