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December 2, 2010

Tis the season to be jolly or so the song says. But how can you be jolly while you are job searching. Not that the holidays are always enjoyable by our colleagues that trot off to the office everyday. It’s just that being unemployed has different and additional challenges. The toll of the process has been showing for weeks and/or months now. But the worst is yet to come. The holidays and being unemployed don’t mix much the same as drinking and driving. Both can lead to a disaster.

There are ways to cope with the situation. Most of these ideas are helpful for everyone but with the addition of how to conduct a job search during the holiday, you will find that job hunting can be aided by the holidays. There are three areas that you should concentrate on during this stressful time of year.

First is the mind, body and spirit. These are what the job searcher must focus on the person looking for the job. Stress relieving activities are a must for putting everything into focus. Meditating, reading inspirational material, positive thinking, guided imagery and any other mental relaxation activities will calm the mind and prevent it from running in overdrive. When your mind is running in overdrive, it is difficult to concentrate on the tasks at at and will distort the true situation. We all know that proper nutrition is important to maintain a healthy body as is regular exercise. Being fit, eating a wholesome diet and avoiding overindulgence in food and alcohol are all important to prevent sickness. Being sick for the holidays isn’t good for anything or anyone. The spirit needs nourishing just as much as your body does. This is the season for many religious celebrations, customs and services. By joining with like minded individuals, people find security and acceptance when sharing beliefs. If you don’t have a particular faith, now is a great time to return to your childhood faith or find a new one. This time of the year, religious organizations are looking for returning members and new ones. You will be welcomed with open arms.

Second is the job search itself. While many of our friends, family, and colleagues are searching for the best holiday deals, many job searchers are not looking for jobs. They are victims of relying on the myth that hiring stops between Thanksgiving and January 1. On the contrary the holiday season is a good time to be searching. While many are in the malls, they are letting opportunities pass them by. Companies can either be looking for candidates to fill spots before the funding disappears or to have a team in place to begin in January. Instead of giving up, rev up a job search.

Finally, the parties with family, friends and professional associations can be a mixed blessing. They all afford the you with countless opportunities to network. Bring business cards and a well honed elevator pitch to pass along to everyone you meet. However as a word of caution, don’t be all about the job search or have a desperate demeanor. Combining optimism and restraint can make you a welcome guest at any party.

However these events can be intimidating when job searchers face employed people who haven’t lost a moment of work in the last couple of years. Whether it is relatives, friends or colleagues, they don’t understand the current job search process and the length of time it takes to obtain a position. They can ask some pretty tough and demoralizing questions and walking into the situation can be daunting. By tackling the situation head on you will be taking the dread out of the situation. By bringing up the subject and providing only the information the you want to share with the others, you take control of the topic and can end it at will. Instead if waiting in fear for the proverbial shoe to drop, the you can get on with enjoying the party and feeling empowered.

By taking care of the self during the holidays, you can actually enjoy them and maybe even land a job. The most important thing to remember during the holidays is what they are all about. The significance need not be overshadowed by the search. Job searchers need to relax, take charge and do what they have been doing right along to the new year. All the above ideas are applicable the job searcher at any time of the year they need not be put away with the decorations. Good Luck!!!

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