It should be the most wonderful time of the year but for those seeking a new job or find themselves unemployed around the holidays, this time of year can be highly depressing. So, we offer ways to avoid the holiday blues if you are currently unemployed and seeking new work.
Addressing why unemployment leads to holiday blues
Forget about not having a job for a moment because that is an obvious reason to not be happy. Let’s address why these feelings are intensified around the holiday season.
1. Trying to do too much
The reality of those with jobs who are making hiring decisions is that they tend to go on vacation around the holidays. The job postings slow down and all job interviews happening in December will not lead to a hiring decision until January (exceptions exist but not many).
So, for people to try their hardest to apply for jobs in December and reach out to folks who make hiring decisions with the expectations that it will lead to results, they may just be setting their hopes too high. Of course, networking should never stop but it should be understood that there is only so much you can do when employers are going to be slow to respond due to the holidays.
Trying to do too much may lead to the saddening belief that no one is interested. The simple fact is the hiring decision makers may simply be away.
Avoiding holiday blues: Decrease your job search expectations for the last two weeks of December. Take a break just like the people who are hiring and posting jobs.
2. Comparing ourselves to the success of the employed
This may be a good reason to stop looking at social media altogether around the holidays. People often use social media to tout their accomplishments or reasons for happiness. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others you will do nothing more than make yourself depressed.
With all the success of others being shared, it is easy to forget that EVERYONE goes through tough times. Yet, we do not tend to talk about those negative times on social media. And you certainly would not help yourself by comparing yourself to others who have jobs.
The simple fact is that people use social media to talk about accomplishments and share the best aspects of their lives. If you are not feeling accomplished, it would be best to stay off social channels until you begin to feel some best aspects of your life should be shared.
Avoiding holiday blues: Stay off or decrease time on social media, unless you have something positive to share about yourself. And even then, do not read other people’s posts unless you are strictly looking for work opportunities.
3. Not taking care of your health and seasonal depression
When people are unemployed they have to become inventive to maintain the healthy work regimen that keeps them in shape while employed. We write many blogs with advice on how to stay productive while unemployed.
Yet, when you get around the holidays you have several things going on at the same time:
- Plenty of food
- Plenty of time
- Shorter daylight
All of the above can lead to an unhealthy and depressing regimen of eating poorly and not going outside.
Avoiding holiday blues: Take this time to work on things that you normally felt like there was no time for in the past; things that require thought and physical energy. For example:
- Starting a new workout routine
- Working on your resume
- Connecting with old friends
- Reaching out to family you had not spoken with in a while
The importance of realistic expectations
Ultimately, you want to feel a realistic set of expectations were accomplished. When your job search hits full-steam ahead in January, you will feel energized.
You will also feel positive about the wonderful way you spent the holidays that involved connecting with people, taking care of your health, and never expecting too much from those who were not in the position help you.
Instead, you joined their parties and shared in their happiness, which is a wonderful way to spend the holidays!