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Holiday Job Search Tips to Finish Out the Year

Posted by Kathleen Smith
holiday job search

It’s been a long year, and many wish this year would be over. Sadly, things will not magically be bright and new on New Year’s Day 2021. For many, this year has meant job change or job uncertainty—and even in the best of times, job search is a challenge.

We’ve seen holiday decorations in the stores for several weeks now. It’s easy to procrastinate doing a job search during the holidays when Peppermint Mochas and Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Lattes are dancing in our heads. But with inspiration from some of my favorite holiday movies, let’s pull out a few holiday job search tips.

Know What You Want

Just like we have a holiday gift list, it’s important to have a list of what you want from your next job or the next step in your career. We typically focus on an increase in salary and possibly a different title, but there’s so much more to your career than this. What are the learning opportunities? Will you be learning new management skills or technical skills? Or do you want a different work environment or better healthcare coverage? Think beyond your paycheck.

In “A Christmas Story,” all Ralphie wants for Christmas is the Red Ryder BB Gun to which everyone says, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Ralphie dreams of how great his life will be when he gets this gun – everything from being a hero in a Western to being able to take on the local bully. Well it doesn’t quite work out that way.

Make your holiday wish list of what you want from your next job.

Take a Chance

It’s easy to stay within the same career track that you’ve always been in, or think you should be in. Many, if not most of the time, job seekers will not look to other industries or different types of jobs for career growth and opportunities. In “The Holiday,” two women are in dead-end relationships with no opportunity for personal growth or even some fun! They meet through a house exchange and exchange homes for the holidays. Fun and personal growth ensue.

Sometimes, taking a chance pulls back the veneer and you truly appreciate your own strength and skills. So don’t lock yourself in to just what you’ve done before. If you want to change industries or go for that job that might be outside of your comfort zone, give it a try!

Communicate Clearly and Consistently

Communication is vital in a job search and yet it’s the one area in which many of us are inconsistent. There is the initial contact with a recruiter, the follow-up, more follow-up, and a thank you. In working with any recruiter, you are establishing a relationship that requires consistent and clear communication. Don’t forget about your network and references either. Keep them in the loop as to your status.

In the old-time holiday classic, “The Shop Around the Corner,” a classic case of miscommunication provides two individuals who are antagonistic to each other with a big surprise.

Be sure in your job search communications that you’re not leaving anything to chance by believing that the reader will understand your intention and message. Be clear and consistent. If in doubt, ask the question.

Give Yourself Time to Be a Star

What holiday movie list would be complete without “Die Hard?” Did you know that Bruce Willis was not the first, second or even fifth choice to star in the movie? Bruce Willis was known as a comedic actor due to his co-starring role in the Emmy winning series “Moonlighting.” Everyone from Frank Sinatra (yes, at the age of 73) to Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro, Charles Bronson, Nick Nolte, Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Don Johnson, Burt Reynolds, and Richard Dean Anderson were considered for the role. They all turned it down. I think if they realized it would be a blockbuster with a 5-movie series they would have reconsidered. This was also Alan Rickman’s feature film debut.

Look at every way possible to polish your current skills, even while seeking new employment. How can you learn from colleagues and mentors? What projects can you volunteer for? You may find a role and think it isn’t anything special, but you can make it special and become a star. Just give yourself the chance.

Happy holiday movie watching!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 09, 2020 2:43 pm

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