Four Tips to Take Advantage of the Holidays to Find a Job

We often believe that hiring slows down prior to the New Year. THIS IS A MYTH! If anything, hiring managers are still 12515347_msearching for applicants; however, interviews and hiring decisions may be slower because of the inability to get a team of coworkers together.

While holidays may be busy with family, friends and loved-ones, this is a great time for professional development and applying for positions. Below are four tips to take advantage of the holidays to find a job:

1.    Update your Cover Letter and résumé – Aunt Beth or Cousin Betty may have excellent editing skills. Take some time to update your cover letter and résumé and ask someone to look it over. Remember, it is important to customize your cover letter andrésumé for each position you apply.

2.    Network- Tell everyone that you are seeking work. Holidays are a great time to network and tap into your friends and family who may know someone who may know someone who can help you find a job.

3.    Side cash-  As New Year’s quickly approaches, so do the resolutions. Many business owners want to reorganize their office, catch up with administrative work or market their business. The New Year is an opportunity to build your portfolio and provide temporary support to a small business. If you are highly organized, know how to use Microsoft Office or have any other skills, offer them to a small business owner and see if you can make some money before or after the New Year.

4.    Reconnect-  If you have relationships with hiring managers, former colleagues or anyone who could help you, send them a holiday card or e-mail. Holidays are a fantastic time to wish people well and reconnect. If there is a chance the person may not remember you, remind them of when you met last, who you are and perhaps include a business card. Share what you’ve been up to (employment, education, etc.) and ask to meet for coffee after the holiday.

Don’t let the holidays pass you by, take advantage of them!

Have You Found a Job Yet?- How to Respond During the Holidays

christmas-xmas-santa-claus-advent (1)While your friends and family may have the best of intentions and care about your well-being, transitioning careers is an emotional time.

We live in a society where the second question after meeting someone is often, “What do you do?” which can come across as, “What is your worth?” The questions of, “Have you found a job yet” and “Any updates?” can make you second guess your self-worth, especially during the holidays.

So, how do you handle such a sensitive conversation?

Remember, it’s up to you how much you want to disclose. You can choose to share as much or as little as you want.

Listen and try to understand where the person is coming from. Most of the time, people want to know that you are happy and okay. A simple answer of, “Although I’m looking for a new job, I’m happy and doing alright. I appreciate you asking” will do.

People love being helpful problem solvers. Perhaps Thanksgiving can be a time of networking and brainstorming. Ask for advice such as, “Do you know of anyone in the field I can talk to” or “Do you have any suggestions or where I can network?”

If you’d rather skip the conversation entirely and enjoy your turkey dinner, just redirect the conversation with an open-ended question like, “I’m still in the interview process. How are things going with your work?” or “I’m still exploring my next steps. How is your family?”

Try to sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday. Remember, you set the tone by how you react to questions asked during a conversation. With a little preparation, holidays can be an opportunity to network and brainstorm or simply have a positive conversation. Happy Thanksgiving!

The 3 Best Career Research Websites

There are hundreds of websites to support career research; however, it can be overwhelming to have to figure out the best 13481427_mones out there and where to start. When I work clients, I suggest they research basic information about careers before they continue on to websites that provide more detailed information about companies, people and job listings. Below are the 3 best career research websites for career transitioners:

College In Colorado is a hidden gem for college, career and financial aid research. I suggest this tool for people of all ages to build a portfolio of assessments, career searches, cover letters, and more.

My Next Move Explore allows job seekers to explore careers by keyword, industry or interest. It is easy to navigate and provides information quickly and effectively. Career profiles include knowledge, skills, abilities, personality, education, job outlook and similar professions.

Occupational Outlook Handbook is the last website I send career transitioners after they have narrowed down several careers that interest them. It is important to research labor market trends to understand careers that are going to be in demand in the future.

And of course, when it doubt, Google it out. There are many industry specific websites out there to provide more career-specific information. Best of luck in your research!

Parents, help foster children’s career skills

Parents, help foster children’s career skills


10 p.m. MDT October 23, 2014

If you’re a parent, you’ve likely wondered what you can do to foster career success for your children, even from an early age.

You don’t want to meddle too much, but you don’t want to leave them unprepared either — at least that’s how I’ve thought about it. Danielle Menditch, a career counselor with Career Pioneer Network, specializes in guiding families and children toward career readiness. She suggests these strategies:

• Set up chores and allowance for elementary-age children, and pay them what a neighbor would pay for the same work.

Also consider having your kids buy their own discretionary items they want — such as the latest Xbox — so they learn how their work translates into actual purchases.

• When they’re in high school, focus on helping children build work skills.

In addition to part-time and volunteer jobs, find ways to include your son or daughter in your career, such as talking about your work as a part of family discussions.

One lawyer dad who can’t breach his clients’ confidentiality will say things like, “I work with couples who no longer feel as if they can live together, and they have problems like figuring out who will take care of the family pets. What would you tell them to do?”

• If it’s appropriate for your family, talk about what you earn to demystify finances and draw comparisons.

One parent helped her daughter calculate how many hours she’d have to work to pay for volleyball lessons if she was employed as a social worker, as compared to working as doctor. Expose your children to how certain jobs would pay for real-world living expenses.

Said Menditch, “When I was in high school, $30,000 in salary sounded like so much money until my parents showed me on Craigslist what it would cost to rent an apartment and how much our grocery bill was each week.”

Menditch is giving a free talk on this topic from noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 6. For more information, contact her at

Katy Piotrowski, M.Ed., is the author of “The Career Coward’s Guides” and provides career and job search support with Career Solutions Group in Fort Collins. Reach her at (970) 224-4042 or