A common piece of job-searching wisdom insists on consistency and commitment: Treat your job search as if it were a job.
Translation: Out with the sweatpants and House reruns; in with the alarm clock and regular hygiene.
The misery of unemployment can often dull one's past enthusiasm for early morning runs and desk calendars. But most job seekers know that those small tokens of formality (normality) can be the most meaningful when one has the horrid privilege of suddenly being able to spend morning and afternoon hours in front of the TV screen, lobbing tennis balls at the net with the Wii controller.
And what about the holidays? The unemployed can fill their schedules with a new range of tasks that have nothing to do with the job search and everything to do with gift buying and turkey basting. Someone will have to clean the oven and vacuum the garage before our cousins come! Someone needs to shop for the correct Christmas napkins to go in the basket that we're using for the biscuits we're bringing to the holiday party on December 26th! And why not you? After all, you've got the freedom. Yes, yes, of course you're searching for work, just as soon as you finish the New Years Eve dinner grocery list. Could take a little while to find the Madagascar vanilla beans and the veal stock, but no matter--job search hours are so flexible!
Forgive the silliness. It's just too easy to find ways out of doing hard work any time of year--it's even more slick during the holidays.
- Before you are too engrossed with the holiday schedule, make sure that the days that are not holidays (Christmas Eve Eve, for example) will have good blocks of time committed to your job search.
- Do not let family members who are employed load you down with responsibilities just because you seem to have the afternoons free. Your time is just as precious. Your work is just as important.
- Don't expect too much of yourself. Even the gainfully employed are more easily distracted this time of year--taking long lunches to finish shopping, or chatting on the phone about gift ideas.
- Do not assume that hiring managers will be too busy to talk with you over the holidays. It may, in some cases, be even easier to get in touch with them.