Posted on | December 17, 2008 | No Comments
As we all make our final preparations for the holidays, I hope visions of festive events, family gatherings and holiday treats begin to overtake the stress of the last year. I know the year’s not quite over so this isn’t my farewell-to-2008 post and I’ll spare you the auld lang syne for now. Instead, I want to add one more bit to your holiday prep/packing list–your resume.
Usually, I’d say forget about the job hunt, relax and enjoy the merriment. But, this year, the stakes are simply too high, jobs too hard to come by.
This year, you’ll need to make a bit of room in your suitcase or in your holiday event schedule to talk to long-lost and far-flung family members and friends about what the heck it is that you do (for a living). Make sure that you also find out what they do, if they’re still doing it and if you can do it too.
For many of you this may seem like a scary idea, something akin to coming out. But trust me, everyone in the room will be glad you brought it up first and happy to talk to you about it (especially if you happen to be currently employed).
That brings me to a point I’d like to make: If you are fortunate enough to be employed, and even more fortunate to be able to offer jobs to a family member or friend, don’t make them beg for it. Tell them all about your company and the available positions (OK, just tell the ones you’re willing to vouch for). This year, there’s nothing better under the tree than a nice, new job.
If you are unemployed and feeling embarrassed about it, let that go! It’s not your fault and it’s happened to over 10 million others. You have to keep going, keep working at finding work. And, this is your family. I’m sure some of them love you.
So, how do you start the conversation?
HOW TO FIND A JOB BETWEEN TURKEY AND PRESENTS
- Bring and distribute copies of your resume–nice, crisp, clean and professional copies. Don’t skimp because it’s family.
- Skip the general announcement. Making an announcement will make you and everyone else self-conscious about your misfortune and their own. Instead, use those quiet catching-up conversations to bring up the topic.
- Don’t barrel in. You may just find out that you’re the family member no one wants to vouch for. Try backing into the topic by asking how the economy effecting your friend or family member. Ask how his/her company is doing. If their company’s doing well, ask a few more questions to help you figure out if it’s a fit for you. Then, casually share that you are looking for a new job and might be interested in working for their employer.
- If they don’t offer, you should still ask. Most people are uncomfortable talking about the bad times, especially when it comes to money. So, even if your mom leaked to everyone that you’re unemployed, folks may not be dying to bring it up. Start with, “I’m sure my mom told you I was laid off…”.
- Don’t assume. Just because they’re your friends and family doesn’t mean they know what you do for a living or whether you’re any good at it. Share your experience. Tell them about your prior jobs, degrees, other qualifications. Then, tell them what you’re looking for. Now, even if they can’t get you on at their company, you’ve got an extra pair of eyes and ears looking out for jobs for you.