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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Add some holiday sparkle to your job search

Updated: Feb 15, 2021


Person holding snowboard. Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.


Your dreams are dazzling


Athletes are consistent when working towards their goals. A good training regimen includes a balance of ongoing hard work and time to restore – just like a successful job search.


Should you continue your job search during the holidays and/or end-of-year slowdown? This is a question that’s been trending. I’m not in love with it because it’s one of privilege: not everyone has the luxury to completely stop their search, nor should you. If you’re searching, you have nothing to feel bad about. You are taking action to improve your life. When this effort ultimately materializes into getting a job offer – and, it will – there’s no better gift you can give yourself.


For me, a better question is: how will you honor your dreams this holiday season?


Consistency is invaluable to a job search, allowing you to build & maintain momentum and make steady progress. A balance of regular self-care and job search activity prevents burnout and keeps you moving forward.


I want you to enjoy the holidays and set yourself up for success in 2021. You absolutely can do both.


Here are some ways to add a little sparkle to your search.


1. Keep using your job search muscles.


Companies are still hiring. While things may be slower, there has not been a day when the job boards are empty. Depending on the industry, certain sectors are actively filling positions and prepping candidate pools. It is still a good use of time to work on your search and put yourself out there.


You can set small, achievable goals for a variety of job search related tasks to stay the course – and, include fun holiday traditions and R&R on your list. Come up with a realistic amount of time to devote each week to both job searching and holiday festivities. View this balance as an investment in your preferred future. You can do both. In fact, spending time doing something fun and connecting with others, even if virtually, is one of the best energy boosting things you can do. Bonus: the thought of spending a few minutes on your search won't seem as daunting.


And, don’t forget self-care. Create a personalized plan for rejuvenation and job search efforts. If things are copacetic, maybe your ratio is a 50-50 split. Or, perhaps, you decide the sweet spot for you right now is 70-30 in favor of recharging your energy. Another scenario: you have time off during the holidays and your 70-30 is enjoying the freedom to work without interruption on personal branding materials, brainstorming, and online research while also enjoying a relaxing midday yoga session.


Whatever your combination, I highly encourage a continuous flow of action. It is so much easier to consistently work on a job search than to start, stop, and start again. Has anyone taken a few weeks off from exercising, meditating, or even a favorite hobby and then started back? Sore muscles! As tempting as it is to escape your job search completely, adopt a mindset of ‘some is better than none’.


As the saying goes, do something today that your future self will thank you for.


2. Cozy up and strategize.


Strategizing is a perfectly acceptable job search activity in addition to applying to open positions, networking, and updating your resume, etc. Mix in some self-reflection to assess your victories, areas of opportunity, and any tools or resources you might need in the coming year. What is going well? Which new tactics and approaches would you like to try? What achievement(s) are you proud of, especially the ones invisible to others?


Offer yourself kudos and self-compassion along with a cup of apple cider or hot cocoa (with marshmallows, of course). Job searching is hard. For some this year, it was not a choice. For others, it was a personal awakening that we want more for ourselves and/or our families. This takes tremendous courage and perseverance. Journaling, vision boards and talking with trusted mentors, good friends, a trained counselor or a job search coach to process the year and recognize your inner strength are all things I highly recommend.


3. Believe in miracles.


I believe in miracles. In fact, I went on a first date once with a guy who said he did not believe in miracles. This made my heart sad. Although his reasoning was purely logic based, a wave of compassion came over me during our conversation. I imagined what his life may have been like, that prompted him to disavow all miracles. I ended the date with a wish: that he would receive a miracle soon for something his heart really wants. He smiled big and seemed to appreciate it.


Then I went to Trader Joe’s and chatted with a very sweet manager (my barkeep that night) who assured me that miracles were, indeed, real and just because we can’t always see them and they may not arrive on our timeline, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. My faith was restored! (This is one of many reasons I shop at Trader Joe’s.)


When it comes to job searching, I think we could all use a good, hefty miracle (and, soon, please!). There is a little good luck and magic in every job offer. I like to think that. I also work very, very hard when I’m in job search mode and I encourage my clients to also give 100% to their searches – and to life. I feel good luck is more likely to happen when we’re taking positive action towards our deepest wishes. And, even if not connected, it’s a more pleasant way to travel when on a job search adventure.


Whether you choose to believe in miracles or not (either way is perfectly fine), spend some time visualizing what meaningful work looks like to you at this particular point in time. Picture yourself enjoying doing some form of purposeful work, in vivid detail. Who are you with? Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel? What do you give and receive, by performing this work? I guarantee this will put a smile on your face and bring you back to why you’re searching. Quick tip: If you get stuck or frustrated in thinking 'I can't do that yet!' use your imagination to picture how good it will feel taking steps towards your larger vision. Some dreams are so extraordinary they require a few jumps.


Advanced version: For extra lovingkindness, visualize a positive work scenario for someone else, a person who you care about and want the best for - or, someone you do not know. Picture them enjoying their job search miracle, also.


Pronoia


Years ago, at a professional networking breakfast hosted by my alma mater, I learned a new word: pronoia. It was explained as the universe conspiring in your favor. This is the opposite of paranoia, thinking the universe is out to get us. I love the concept of pronoia and it’s fun to look for examples in daily life. Closely tied to gratitude, it trains our mind to look for the Good. Even in the toughest situations, there is always something or someone to be thankful for. Things will turn around.


The way I see it, you either have a new job or you will have one soon. This is the championship mindset I choose.


You are part of one of the biggest, most epic job search efforts in history. And, you are part of the friendly, diverse, and glowing-with-possibility WORK DOT DOT community where everyone is welcomed. You matter and I am so excited for what’s around the bend.


Believe in abundance, take positive action, and know that it is only a matter of time until things click and you are saying YES to an awesome job offer.


Finish the year strong, find joy this holiday season, and let’s get ready for a brand NEW 2021.


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