The holidays are stressful enough as is, but as you’re on the job hunt during this time of year, tension can reach an all-time high. Here are some tips for managing a holiday job search, allowing you to land the perfect opportunity while still making time for holiday festivities:
Don’t discredit seasonal jobs
The holiday season opens up thousands upon thousands of seasonal job opportunities, especially in retail. Even if you previously had no interest in working retail, think about how taking this temporary job might help your search down the road. Could you gain experience in a retail position that you could then translate into your dream career? Would the extra money allow you to take a class that would make landing a job easier? Take these factors into consideration before you automatically discount the idea of working retail this Christmas season.
Make a budget and stick to it
If your budget is tight this year, a lengthy Christmas list will only add to your stress level. When finances are limited, you’ll want to make a budget and stick with it. This means no splurging on gifts for family members that you’d love to give, but can’t afford. Though you may not have as much to spend as you’d like, knowing exactly what you can and can’t pay for takes out some of the guesswork as you’re job searching this holiday season.
Remember that when you’re unemployed during Christmas, you’ll need to adjust your gift giving plan. While you may normally splurge on big-ticket items for family members and friends, this won’t be feasible when your income has slowed or stopped. Don’t feel bad about having to go the homemade route this year. The cliché is true: it really is the thought that counts. Focus on showing the people in your life that you love them, not that you have a ton of disposable income.
Expect a slower process
Unfortunately, the holiday season tends to slow the entire process down as you start to interview. Don’t be frustrated if it’s been a week or two since you last heard from that company you’re interviewing with. It doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested. It’s more likely that the hiring manager had time off or was busy preparing for the office holiday party. Be patient, but don’t forget to follow up. You need to stay on that person’s radar, even if they’re busy.
Lastly, don’t forget to allow yourself to enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays. Sure, you should be dedicating a significant portion of each day to job hunting. But you want to make time for fun and relaxation or else you’ll quickly burn out. Stay organized and stay focused, but don’t push yourself to your limit.