It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
This post is for anyone that is heading into the festive period full of worry and fear as opposed to festive cheer.
Being unemployed at any time isn’t fun. Being unemployed over Christmas is an absolute killer. As if things aren’t stressful enough with bills to pay and mouths to feed, you hit December and cash-flow becomes tighter than ever with buying Christmas presents, preparing for festive celebrations, etc… And the pressure to still be jolly, oh the JOLLY PRESSURE.
You’re doing all you can to stay positive and to keep your spirits up (mainly Baileys, it’s the time for it). You’re keeping your sh*t together for the sake of yourself and your Family. Yet the weight of ‘needing to find a job’ is still there, getting heavier by the moment, clouding your decisions and really screwing up your jolliness.
You know the need to take a break and a breather from it all, otherwise you’ll not be at the top of your game, which is where you need to be if you’re trying to attract some decent opportunities. Yet, it’s not as easy as that, is it? The fear of the unknown, heading into a new year without anything secured, other than a few flaky ‘irons in the fire’. It’s terrifying. It’s miserable. It’s so far removed from jolly that it’s actually a joke. But, like a really crap cracker joke.
‘Tis the season to be jolly and all that…’
Bloody hell Mills, lighten up.
Now, I’m not trying to bring the mood down on the festive period, not one bit, I’m just reflecting. And sympathising. And empathising. I’ve done the whole ‘being unemployed over Crimbo’ thing and I can remember all too well how much it sucked.
This post is for anyone feeling this way right now (or for the partners, wives, husbands, family, friends, etc. of those who are). I want to offer you some advice:
DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP OF COMPLETELY SWITCHING OFF YOUR JOB-SEEKING EFFORTS DURING THIS TIME.
Don’t fob yourself off with ‘I’ll take another look at it in the New Year’ because even though this is temporarily giving you a break, it will be there in the back of your mind; clouding your celebrations because you know that you are going to have to hit it hard come the New Year and trust me, if you haven’t given this some thought beforehand, it will be something p-r-e-t-t-y spectacular you’ll have to pull out of the bag, motivation and PMA wise.
Time to take a fresh look at things.
At some point, between Christmas and the New Year, set aside some time to think about your job search. Not just as in going back to the job boards and hitting ‘APPLY NOW’ to everything you see, I mean really think about your efforts to this point.
Have they been working? I mean, no doubt you’ll have been applying for jobs left, right and centre so you’re playing the numbers game in the hope that something will come from it. But have things been coming from it? Truly, have they?
Let’s assume they haven’t.
Let’s put all your efforts and unsuccessful applications to this point in the 2016 box. Congratulate yourself on hitting it hard and getting yourself out there, but it didn’t work, put it in the ‘last year’ box and realise that this is now old news. History.
Now think about Today. Where you are, experience wise. What you have to offer an Employer. What you WANT from an Employer, and get selfish here. What do you want? Don’t be over-grateful for just any old job, what do you want? Think about things like the kind of people you want to work with. People like you. Think about things like how you’ll feel on a Sunday afternoon when you’re starting to think about the week ahead. Think about what kind of things you’d be doing and imagine yourself doing them, even down to what you’re wearing when you do it. Think about where you’ll be located and imagine the journey there…
All these things might sound a bit ‘fluffy’ but trust me on this, it’s a mind-set thing. And it really works.
When you start thinking about what you actually WANT as opposed to just what you could be considered for, things start to be more on your terms and you start to get a bit of control back, which is a real turning point. If you can really create a picture in your mind of what would really be a game-changing job for you then you’ll imagine yourself doing it and you’ll check back in with yourself and the fog of uncertainty will begin to lift. I promise you.
Once you’ve done this and you’ve taken a NEW look at yourself and remembered that you’re actually pretty bloody amazing, I want you to take one last look at your old CV. Yep, I said it. One last look. Your old CV. Because that’s going into the 2016 box too.
Re-write your CV based on Today You.
Make it about what Today You WANTS, not what Yesterday You NEEDED.
Never write or update your CV in desperation because it shows. Once you’re in the right frame of mind, you’ll be in the right place to create a CV that is a paper reflection of you, in all your jolly glory. See what we’ve done? We’ve brought Jolly back.
All of a sudden your job search has taken a turn for the better, it’s positive and exciting; it’s the 2017 project that you can’t wait to begin. Your job search up to now has served a purpose, it’s made you get your name out there and you’ve made a start. But your job search from this point on is going to bring in THE RIGHT type of opportunities for you and will guarantee you some decent results from the next application you make. It’s also a great excuse to re-connect with the agencies you’ve registered with, to remind them that you’re available and to get your new positive jolliness right in front of their faces so that you’re first in line when they’re shortlisting for their vacancies.
Tis the season to be jolly. So go and get your jolly on knowing that you’ve got this under control.
And just remember your little CV-Elf is here to help you every step of the way. That’s me by the way. But you got that.
Merry Christmas everyone.