Last weekend, I was in Houston to watch my niece graduate from the University of Houston-Downtown. She is a young woman who, despite the changes in her life (and major), never slowed down in her academic career. She got a head start in high school and was able to graduate from college in three and half years!
So when I was trying to finalize a topic for this week’s blog post- which happens to fall on Christmas day- I asked my graduating niece and her best friend what they would like to read about. I thought to myself, “These were two smart motivated college women – they could really give me some insight.” They both looked at me nervously and said, “Well, we probably wouldn’t read one on Christmas Day.” I sat deflated for a moment when I realized something – the job search is important – but so is your sanity and emotional health.
So take a deep breath. We all know how stressful the holidays can be just by themselves – but add financial concerns, shopping, family obligations, travel and a job or internship search on top of that – it all becomes overwhelming. Keeping these things in mind, I’ve got three wishes for you as you head into the new year:
Holiday Wish One – Take a Break
Yes, I said in one of my previous posts that the holiday “break” is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for future job search success. Having said that, you are still allowed to enjoy the holiday season to decompress. Take the time to enjoy some of your favorite activities. My nieces enjoy a mean game of Catch Phrase or Scattergories. Read a book that has nothing to do with your school work or the job search. Watch your favorite holiday movie. Enjoy your time with family and friends.
Holiday Wish Two – Patience
The job market isn’t what it was just two years ago or even one year ago. Finding a position that is a good fit for you will take some time, and you will likely have to endure some rejection and a lot of waiting. Practicing patience will help you keep both your sanity and good cheer. It will be difficult, but searching for employment during the holidays is nothing BUT an exercise in patience. Trust me.
Here’s the reality: no one wants to hire a Grinch. If you are the type that naturally drifts towards the cynical – it’s time to make some adjustments when it comes to your outlook on life. This takes conscious effort. Start by seeking out people who are positive and proactive. What’s amazing is that you’ll find that many of these people have faced an amazing amount of adversity in their own lives and manage to overcome it. I’m not saying you can’t have a bad or gloomy day every now and again. We all do. Just don’t let it ruin your outlook or attitude. Take time to discover something positive that you enjoy, and embrace it.
Next week… it’ll be New Year’s Eve, so start thinking of those resolutions. Until then…
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Lanie James serves as Employer Development Coordinator for the Career Services office at Oklahoma State University, also known as HireOSUgrads.com . She holds both a B.A. in Journalism Broadcasting and a M.S. in Mass Communication from OSU. Her research emphasis focused on emerging and social media in Career Services. She also serves as the President of the Oklahoma Association of Colleges & Employers (@OkACE). Connect with Lanie on LinkedIn or Twitter @JLanie.