Like other mammals, humans have a knack for hibernating in the winter. When the winter season crosses paths with your job search, this temptation can be even more appealing. Not only is it below zero and snowing, but everywhere you look there is another advertisement for Christmas sales that remind you of all the presents you still have to scrounge up for friends and family. Besides the shopping, most companies are just counting the days to their holiday breaks and aren’t exactly welcoming to new applicants, so if you’re in a job search in the winter time, things may look grim.
Let’s admit it: job searching in the winter can sometimes make you just want to go home and chug some egg nog until you pass out, but deep down you know you’ve got to keep that resilient searching spirit alive. If your job progress is frozen this winter, consider the following tips to heat things up.
– Consider alternative money-making opportunities
Before you get desperate enough to put on a Santa suit, grab a bell, and write “Salvation Army” on an old red bucket, think of new and creative ways to make money to help get you through the holiday season. You can enter various contests, such as Scrabble tournaments and essay competitions to try your luck at winning cash prizes. If luck isn’t on your side, you can also consider selling some of your old items on E-Bay or at a garage sale. You can even use your creative talents to sell arts and crafts on Etsy or submit your work to an art show.
– Help Others
It’s what the season is all about, isn’t it? With your extra free time, you can help out this season by offering to babysit your sister’s kids while she goes shopping, volunteering to orchestrate your church Christmas program, or helping out at a homeless shelter. You may not be earning extra money from doing so, but you will feel more fulfilled and accomplished at the end of the day. And helping others is a great way to humble yourself and gain appreciation for the things that you have. For example, just think of all of the terrible office Christmas parties you get to opt out of this season.
– Better Yourself
If you’re having a difficult time finding a job, you might be able to put yourself at an advantage by polishing up your resume, developing your LinkedIn profile, and/or extending your education through an online degree program. Self-improvement projects are usually put on hold when you’re busy at work, but now that you have free time, you can upgrade your professional appearance and build your self-esteem in the meantime.
On top of improving your professional image, you’re probably due for a haircut right about now, so go ahead and indulge in pampering yourself to look great for your next potential interview. Looks aren’t everything, but having a polished, professional appearance can potentially get employers to pay more attention to you.
Many businesses tend to have downtime during and after the holidays, but you can still start building relationships and setting yourself up for a fresh start with the New Year. Improving your skills, staying diligent, and being creative will help you find what you’re looking for during your job search.