Posts tagged #holidays

The Benefit of Truly Unplugging During The Holidays

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Happy holidays! We are in prime-time holiday season with shopping, wrapping, carols, food, classic movies and TV shows, and twinkling lights surrounding us most moments of the day. Even if you love the season, it’s a lot to take in all at one time. And soon your family and friends will be gathering for Christmas, which may also be adding to the mental overload of the holidays.

Whether you get time off this time of the year or not, it can be difficult to truly unplug and relax. Especially if your work connects you with colleagues from around the world who may not observe the same holiday season as in the United States. Emails still come in, phones are still ringing, and projects still need finishing. In today’s world where work email and phone are often connected to your personal cell phone, it’s nearly impossible to separate yourself from your professional life.

If you are on the job hunt, it can be an even more stressful time of year. It’s easy to spend every waking moment searching through the postings and contacting potential employers. While it’s a good endeavor, it’s exhausting. Taking a break for a couple of days won’t result in a missed opportunity. Most employers will be off around this time anyway, so that extra application and follow up email can be put on hold for a few days.

Another big culprit for holiday stress is social media and the news. This constant information dump can take a toll on our energy and our ability relax. When scrolling through our feeds, it’s easy to be stressed, anxious, worried, and discontent.

Even though it’s difficult to unplug, it’s important for our physical and mental health. Why not take a break from all of it for a few days. A detox from technology and work will leave us refreshed and refueled for the New Year.

So here’s your challenge this holiday season - be intentional about unplugging. Even if it’s just for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, take steps to “turn off” your work to relax and enjoy time with family and friends without interruption.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to truly unplug this holiday season:

  • Go to the settings in your mobile phone and turn off your work email. It should be a simple toggle switch that you can flip back on when you’re ready to get back to work.

  • Send out an email to your team and clients stating that you will not be reachable during a specific time period. Also, set the out of office on your work email so those that forget will be reminded!

  • Get all of your work projects wrapped up before the holidays. If that’s not possible, put together a strategic plan for completion that includes at least a couple of days for downtime.

  • If you use your phone as your camera, turn on airplane mode and turn off the wifi. Or better yet, grab an “old fashioned” camera and leave your phone out of sight.

What would you add to the list? Comment below and let us know how you are unplugging this holiday season.

Posted on December 20, 2017 and filed under Community.

Being Thankful When Looking for Work

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It’s almost Thanksgiving! Lots of family, friends, good food, and entertainment are in the forecast for many of us. If you’re looking for a job, however, you might have a difficult time shaking the dark cloud that’s casting a shadow on your holiday festivities. It’s hard to be thankful when you don’t have a secure income and job you love.

But there is much to be thankful for, even when you are looking for work!  Here’s a list to help keep things in perspective:

5 Reasons To Be Thankful While Looking For A Job:

  1. Looking for a job can be fun! The sky's the limit with the new opportunities you have to explore. Securing a job is one way to make a positive change in your life by finding a position that will bring fulfillment, satisfaction, and good work/life balance. What better time to be “picky” about what you are looking for and find the perfect fit.

  2. You aren’t alone! Everyone has been in your shoes at one time or another. It’s rare to meet someone who was handed their job without having to search, create a resume, cover letter, apply, and interview for it. Take advantage of the wisdom and insight your friends and family can provide by asking for their thoughts and advice over turkey and pumpkin pie.

  3. There are FREE resources available to you! You can google virtually anything you need help with and someone will have posted about it online. Just make sure you are finding quality, professional resources and advice! This blog is a great, free resource to glean tips and best practices. In fact, here’s a few you might want to bookmark:

  1. You don’t have to pound the pavement like you would have 20 years ago. Before the internet was prevalent, job seekers had to print a copy of their resume and either mail it to an employer, or physically drive to their office and drop it off with a secretary. Now, you can apply for dozens of jobs a day from the comfort of your own home. You also don’t have to scour newspapers and circle job openings with a highlighter. Job search engines make it incredibly easy to find opportunities!

  2. Caring professionals at The Wilbanks Consulting Group want to help you! Our team would love to partner with you to make your job search result in a fun, fulfilling career for you. We offer one-on-one in-person and virtual career coaching and many other job search services. Contact us today and let us help you find your dream job.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How the Holiday Season Affects your Job Search

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Finding a job is tough no matter the time of year. Job applications, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, networking, interviews - there is so much to consider and work on while finding the right fit for your career aspirations. It’s overwhelming!

When the holidays roll around, you can’t put your job search on hold just because you want to enjoy the season. You need a job! To minimize the stress, here are a few things to keep in mind as you press onward towards securing a position:

  • Employer response times will be slow - Many people take time off around the holidays. In fact, some companies close their office for the entire week between Christmas and New Year. Expect to wait two to three weeks to receive a response during this time of year...maybe even longer.

  • Adjust your follow-up strategy - If you find the perfect job opening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, add an extra follow up to your typical routine. While people are away from the office or buried in end-of-year project wrap-ups, your application or follow-ups can get lost in email. Don’t barrage them with daily check ins, but one extra follow up will be a good reminder if you haven’t heard anything.

  • Get creative with networking -  This is a popular time for companies to give back to the community, so do your research and see if you can help! For example, around Thanksgiving many corporate teams will coordinate a work day to volunteer at a local food bank. If you use your networking skills to learn of events like that, you may be able to volunteer with them, or get on the volunteer schedule at the same time. You’ll be able to introduce yourself to people at the company and demonstrate your work ethic on site.

  • Take advantage of temporary openings - Seasonal job openings are in abundance during the holidays, so take advantage of opportunities. While these openings may not be the perfect job you’re looking for, they will provide income for you during your transition and can be good resume fillers for any gap you may have in employment.

Looking for additional resources for finding a job that’s perfect for you? We’d love to help! Our team offers many career coaching and career exploration packages that are customized to your needs and career goals. Contact us to set up a consultation.

Posted on November 15, 2017 and filed under Search Strategy.

When Career Stress Hits Around the Holidays

Family, hosting, traveling, cooking, shopping, routine shifting - the holidays can leave you with a lot of stress. While everyone wants to enjoy the holidays, the stress of the season can be made even worse when everything is not going well for you at work or if you’re on the job hunt. Handling the stress is important for many reasons - you want to be pleasant to be around for the sake of your friends and family, you want to enjoy the holidays, you don’t want anything on your list to fall through the cracks, and most importantly you want your health!

Here are some tips to help manage the stress through the end of the year craziness:

  • Manage expectations at work and at home. Don’t commit to projects that will put your already overflowing to do list over the edge. Make sure your family and friends are clear on when, how, and for how long you’ll be participating in the holidays. If you make your plan clear, there won’t be surprises for anyone.

  • Set realistic goals. You might want to do it all and impress the socks off of, well, everyone, but that’s not healthy or effective when stress is mounting. Plan as much as you can around the holidays and make sure your goals are achievable.

  • Get help. Too much on your plate? Ask a colleague for assistance or to take on a task from your list. Ask your family to allow you to skip cooking this year so you can focus on your resume or job search. Explain your situation and they’ll likely be happy to help.

  • Try time management techniques. These can help you break down your tasks into smaller chunks which makes them more manageable. The can also make you feel a little more at ease knowing that you have allocated time for everything on your list! The Pomodoro technique is a great one to try.

  • Balance work and play. Don’t procrastinate and leave everything on your to do list until the last minute. That is NEVER a good idea. On the other hand, you don’t need to skip all of the fun stuff because of your massive list. Figure out what needs done now, and leave the other stuff for later. It will still be waiting for you after you’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with family.What are the best ways you’ve found to deal with stress around the holidays? We’d love to hear from you - leave a comment below!

 

Posted on December 1, 2016 .