How to Overcome Job Search Depression During the Holidays

Job Search DepressionIn a few short weeks we will celebrate Thanksgiving followed immediately by the festive Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza season, and before you turn around, it is 2015.

Throughout my career as a recruiter and resume writer, I’ve noticed two prevalent occurrences at this time of year. One is that way too many job seekers convince themselves that this is the absolute worst time of year to look for a job because they’re all under the misconception that companies do not hire in November and December. Therefore, it is acceptable to decelerate their efforts or even take a long hiatus and put their job search on hold until the new year arrives. The other is that too many out of work executives and professionals drift into a state of job search depression as the upcoming year approaches and they have yet to accomplish their job search goals and now they begin to doubt themselves and they lose the motivation to keep plugging away at their job search.

So here are 3 suggestions for overcoming job search depression in November and December.

Suggestion #1 is that you adjust your thinking. Contrary to misguided beliefs, the end of the fourth quarter is an excellent time of the year to be aggressive in your networking, job search and interviews. Many decision makers do put off hiring as long as possible but at this time of year they must pull the plug and hire someone before their budget expires. They also prefer to have the new hire signed, sealed, delivered and onboard before January 1, and if the new hire is currently employed by the middle of January.

Also consider this. As the holidays draw near, decision makers are more likely to be in a jovial mood; and you can further contribute to this by being upbeat and offering novel solutions to pressing existing problems. You can help them enjoy the upcoming holiday season knowing that if they hire you their plate will be emptier and they can now concentrate on new and more pressing challenges with your able assistance.

Suggestion #2 is to reevaluate your Job Search Action Plan and your resume and make changes accordingly based on the results they generated up until now.

I find two essential reasons for doing this. One is that to change your resume you must first rethink your accomplishments, and reevaluate what you have to offer and I suggest doing this exercise along with someone else. As you do this you’ll begin to see the problem is not you. You may find it wise to alter your expectations based on the current market, but you will definitely regain some lost confidence by restating your intrinsic value to a new employer.

Also if you are smart you will come up with a new and more charismatic way to present yourself in a new resume. And just like the confidence you gain when you buy and don a new designer outfit (an elegant and coordinated suit, shirt, tie, shoes and briefcase) that fits you to a tee and exudes an image that says WINNER!!!, you will get the same emotional lift and reinvigorate your job search with a stylish new professional marketing portfolio.

Suggestion #3 is Network, Network and Network some more.

An inordinate number of people I come in contact with are uncomfortable networking with people from their past because they think they’ll be perceived as being insincere and self-serving. I consider this foolish, but it is understandable.

What’s great is that even if you have not spoken with someone who can help you since the beginning of last year, or even for one two or ten years, this time of year is nostalgic; and getting a shout out from an old friend or business acquaintance will be looked at as a sincere effort. So reach out and extend best wishes and catch up on old times with everyone you know since you began your career.

If you show a genuine interest in the other person, and begin the conversation by sincerely inquiring as to how their life has progressed since you last spoke, and ask them if there is anything you can do to help their career, such as a linked-in recommendation or an introduction to someone in your network who can further their career or social life, you will be able to ask them to help you without feeling guilty and get a positive response. And who knows, you may discover that you should both now keep in touch with each other on a regular rather than an occasional basis.

Take these suggestions seriously and you will improve your chances of 2015 being a year to remember.

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