And Then There Were Holidays (Job Search Edition)

Wow, I took a nice little break from blogging… almost 2 weeks!  I kept meaning to write something but nothing was really gnawing at me… I really enjoyed the holiday weekend last weekend and packed in a lot of family activities.

This is the time of year when I hear job seekers say “no one is responding… no one is interviewing… no one is hiring…”

At the same time the career professionals are saying “This is the right time to job search! Don’t stop now! Do stuff! Don’t give up!”

I totally get the “no one is hiring” thought. Really, it’s hard to get no response, peppered with a few “I’m out of the office until…” responses.  It is disheartening. Of course, it doesn’t help that your financial situation is at a point where you can’t enjoy a few weeks “off.”

So what can you do during the holidays, when people are slow to respond?  Here are some ideas:

Sharpen your own saw. Been hearing about books from your peers and colleagues?  Pick them up and read them. This is a great time to catch up on systems, process, language, and thinking that people in your sphere are talking about. Are there any certifications or courses you need to take?  I definitely recommend any of my 29 Pluralsight soft skills courses on things like management, leadership, communication, listening, mentoring, career management, etc.

Work on your marketing material. I bet your resume and LinkedIn Profile could use some tender loving care. Read them from various perspectives… a friend who used to proof a sales catalog would read each line backwards… easier to catch mistakes, she said. Read them looking for inconsistent grammar (like periods on some bullet points but not on others, or missing upper-case letters), and read them for flow. Read them to see if the real message you want to get across is clear. Read them looking for vague messaging, etc.

Practice your networking pitches and stories at gatherings. Hopefully you’ll be at this party or that dinner, meeting with people you don’t usually meet with. Why not try any of your marketing pitches at those? Really, they should not be so stuffy and robotic that it is uncomfortable to share to close friends and family. You should be practicing these a lot, and these gatherings give you an opportunity to practice with a different audience.

Do company research. You may have heard that you should look for “opportunities,” not “jobs.”  Now is a great time to read up on companies you would love to work at and current events in their industry. You can read up on their leadership and management teams, and learn about their competition. This is quiet-time stuff that takes time, and doesn’t depend on the schedules of others.

Renew relationships. You aren’t the only one with a light schedule… some people will have their calendars quite free, and might be more available for lunches, brunches, or breakfasts than they have been.  This could be a great time to reach out to them and get some one-on-one time.

Pay attention to your physical health. I know, I know… it’s a hard time considering the ridiculous amount of yummy food… but now is a great time to create physical habits that will pay dividends down the road. Yoga, walking, weights, sports, whatever is right for you, use some of your free time to take care of yourself.

I’m sure you can think of other constructive things to do when the world doesn’t seem to have time for you.  My point is, taking time off from the job search is NOT the right tactic, even for the next few weeks when people aren’t around much.