Looking back – wow! Its hard to believe that 2015 is over. I encourage you to take a few minutes and reflect on this year – the good and the bad. For me, this was a good year professionally. It was a good year educationally as I’ve finished my coursework and begun working on my PhD dissertation. I can celebrate having a wonderful and supportive family. That family celebrated the life of my father who passed away in May. My respect for him and the impact he made on so many people’s lives continues to grow. Editorially, I’m Fired came out in print and for the second consecutive year over 1,000 people visited the website. If you are one of those people, thank you. I can confidently say I am a fortunate man.
So, how about you? If you’re reading this blog it is likely that you are a job seeker. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not, but there is more to your life than your job. Use this opportunity to take it all in, and appreciate what you have, and make time to let others know that you appreciate what they mean to you. If you are in job search, reflect back on what you know and what you’ve learned. You will need a good sense of where you came from before you can clarify where you want to go.
Take time today, before the celebrations tonight, to look back on 2015. Enjoy your successes, remember those who you lost, accept what you have, and know that you are not alone. One of my favorite poems is Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, and I encourage you to read it. When I was in college, the Dean of Men had poster-sized version on the wall behind his desk and he would regularly recite it to young men who were struggling. The final lines are:
“and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”
Happy New Year! Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about resolutions.
If you want more advice on how to write a resume, how to network, or just how to find a job, check out I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Now available in both print and eBook formats! Click here for more details.
This is an update to a previous post
For those of you old enough to remember this – imagine some twinkling music in the background and Rod Serling’s voice saying …
“Job seeker, you’ve noticed something has changed – there are fewer openings – no one returns your calls – everyone seems distracted. It’s because you have entered —— the Holiday Zone.”
I don’t have any factual data to back up what I’m about out to tell you, but I do have 30 years of experience. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a frustrating time to be a job seeker. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it is reality.
From an organization’s perspective, this is not the time to try to fill a job. They know that people who have jobs, stop looking for new jobs during the holidays. They likely have spent their recruiting budget, and they wont’ be buying any new advertising or creating any new jobs until after the first of the year. Everything slows down until January.
The same is true for the employed job seeker. They will spend their weekends and evenings shopping, wrapping, and attending holiday parties, not looking for jobs.
So, if you are unemployed, what do you do? Just put your search on the shelf for a month? No, you keep working, but you work smart.
Use holiday parties as networking activities. Meet new people, tell them your story, and ask if you can connect after the first of the year to exchange information and contacts.
Take this time to do some more intensive corporate research. Look at the local news websites to find which companies are in the news for charitable giving or other social outreach; then add them to your Target list and make plans to contact them in January – and when you do, mention how you support their good works.
Volunteer to work for a community organization that helps families over the holidays and do some networking with other volunteers. If you do schedule a networking meeting, take a few holiday cookies as a thank you gift.
Spend some time on your resume, maybe it is time for a complete resume makeover; reorganize, rewrite, and refresh.
The point is, you can’t control the calendar, you can only control how you respond to it. You can curl up in a ball and wait for January, or you can spend your time productively. You won’t see as many postings, you won’t get as many interview, and people won’t be as available to network; but that does not mean you can’t keep looking and making yourself better so that come January, you are ready to knock their socks off.
Enjoy the season, recognize your blessings, and get ready for a fantastic 2016.
If you want more advice on how to write a resume, how to network, or just how to find a job, check out I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Now available as in both print and eBook formats! Click here for more details.