This time of year can be especially difficult if you’re looking for a job. You have to carry on with the holidays as if everything is fine, while friends and relatives tell you to keep on keeping on. We’re not going to tell you how amazing you are, or that any company will be lucky to have you. Being out of work sucks. Being out of work during the holidays sucks like a Dyson. Here are a few ways to save your sanity…and the lives of those you love when they’re not talking about you being unemployed.
1. If one more person gives you their cat poster wisdom (“hang in there, baby!”), you’re going to scratch their face to ribbons.
Retract your claws, thank them and ask where the wine is.
2. Optimistic people. “You’re so talented, it’s just a matter of time, someone will hire you…just keep trying!” Really? You haven’t thought of that until just now.
Thank them and ask where the wine is.
3. You’re actually considering responding to those recruiter emails from insurance companies—the ones you get whenever you upload your resume ANYWHERE. “Sure, I could sell insurance. I have a Masters in Information Technology, but whatever.”
Mark the emails as spam. You cannot sell insurance.
4. You’ve lost track of the number of application profiles you’ve created and on what sites. It’s anarchy in your inbox and you just don’t care anymore.
Even if you use old-fashioned pen and paper, keep track of the sites where you have profiles and your logins for those sites. It minimizes confusion and you can see where your resume is getting the most traction.
5. You’ve become emotionally numb to the “thanks but no thanks” emails you get daily.
Count every rejection email as progress. If you don’t apply, you’re not in the running. Also, it’s not you, it’s them. Never forget that.
BONUS: We made a Job Application Tracking spreadsheet template for you. Get it here:
6. People who send you links to job listings that you’re way overqualified for. Alternately, people who send you links to job listings that are in a different field altogether.
Your family and friends have no idea what you actually do for a living. Thank them for the “lead” but skip the explanation about why you would prefer not to pursue pharmaceutical sales.
7. Well-meaning friends and family who ask “have you considered starting your own business?” Because yes, right before you dipped into your 401K in order to keep your internet on so you can endlessly apply for jobs online, you considered starting a business that hires contract mercenaries that specialize in punishing recruiters who disappear from the face of the earth after two phoners and one in-person interview.
A simple “I’m considering lots of things right now” (and leave off the part about punching them in the neck) will suffice.
8. People who ask you “how’s the job search going?” Because getting a job after searching for months is something you’d forget to mention TO YOUR MOM.
Dodge the question and ask for money. Seriously, anytime anyone anywhere asks you how the job search is going, ask them for money. They’ll stop asking.
9. You’ve submitted so many online applications that you begin to feel like you’re shouting into an abyss. What happened to courtesy responses?
Why would you want to work for a company that can’t be bothered to send a form email to applicants?
10. Networking events. “Oh, you applied for that job too?”
11. Freshly unemployed friends who ask for your advice on job hunting “because you’ve been looking for so long.”
The tables have turned. Enjoy the moment.
Yes, the job search can be painful. And frustrating. Remember that your friends and family genuinely care, no matter how useless their advice is. Also remember that being unemployed over the holidays means that you are not required to purchase gifts for anyone and your wish list should consist of one item: Cash.
Here’s the important thing: You don’t suck. Being unemployed sucks. Hang in there, baby!
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