Unemployed Before the Holidays? Fear Not!

*Photo Credit: staffingtalk.com

I'll admit, finding yourself unemployed with the holidays just around the corner could be a scary thing. You've probably heard that many companies freeze hiring during this time, and pick up with new budget in January. In some cases, that is true, but fear not! Being laid off  in November or December does not have to mean the end of the world. By no means should you wait until after the holidays to start looking. In fact, that is the WORST thing you can do.

I know it is tempting if you have the means to to do so,  just to enjoy a little time off at the holidays with your family.  It sounds great, right? Just a little time to re-charge and prepare for a new opportunity. Please, DON'T DO IT! In my opinion, that just might be the worst thing you can do.

I've seen it before. A friend get's laid off with a nice severance package and they say."Well, I've got some time before I'm flat broke so I think I'll just take my time and find the perfect new job."

Please, throw out any thinking like that you may have, RIGHT NOW!  Here's why: Employed people are more attractive candidatesFair or not, it is a known truth that I'm willing to bet any recruiter will agree with me on. In fact, many recruiters or hiring managers actually use that as the first criteria of elimination for jobs with multiple applicants.

When there are several qualified candidates being considered for a position, one has to start cutting somewhere. I have worked for more than one company that automatically eliminated any candidate that had been unemployed more than 30 days. Trust me, thirty days goes by fast when you are unemployed. If you are not interviewing for an ideal position within one week,you need to be at your local staffing agency finding out what temporary contracts are available in your field.

Besides the fact that many companies just are not interested in hiring someone that is unemployed, it is important to understand that working  is where you make connections. Getting yourself out there, regardless of the position, will always be more beneficial to a job search. You can still use online sources to network and apply for great positions at night. To find a really great job, you need to keep in contact with others in a positive way. Being out in the community at least part of your day will go a long way in regards to getting the job you really want.

If there are not temporary contract position open in your field, consider taking on a seasonal position. I know that some seasonal positions might not be a first choice for everyone. Please don't fall in to the trap of feeling you are too good to take a job with a lower skill set than you are accustomed to rather than stay unemployed. Seriously. Which do you think will serve you better; being unemployed or being under-employed?

Spending all of your time searching for the perfect job on the internet will not do anything to put you back to work. I don't recommend that you stop your career networking online. The great thing about internet job search is that you can do it at any time of day!

One more point that may be hard to swallow. I also highly recommend that you avoid signing up for unemployment insurance unless it is absolutely necessary to provide for your basic needs. Even if you are entitled to the benefits, there is something to be said for the false security it provides. It is much easier to get complacent with your job search. Unless you absolutely HAVE to, don't do that either.

So, cheer up! There are plenty of businesses that see increased sales at the holiday season, and these are perfect targets for job seeking near the end of the year. Find a job you can live with for the short term until you find the one you love for the long term.

Amy McDonald has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Currently leading two Employment websites: ResumeSpider.com  for career seekers and REKRUTR.com a job distribution network for recruiters, she has worked with thousands of job seekers and recruitment professionals. In her spare time, Amy participates as a thought leader in Recruiting for BIZCATALYST 360°

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