Job Searching During the Holidays


Happy Holidays – Tis the season to share, so I am re-posting this:

Dec. 17, 2014:

Two weeks ago, I offered a workshop on Advanced LinkedIn to a local job seeking club. It was Dec. 2, and even with this popular topic, there were only 6 members in attendance. I was hoping the numbers were low due to the current low unemployment, but then I heard a story on the radio adding up the number of people on short-term, long-term, underemployment and people who have dropped out of the job search, and the numbers added up to more than 19 million. A recent lecture by Dr. Rand Ghayad on “The Jobless Trap in the US”illustrates the true number of long-term unemployed. Clearly, there should have been more than 6 people in attendance.

Some members of the group were dreading the holidays, where well-meaning friends and family ask how the job search is going. Career Coach, Arleen Bradley talks about this phenomenon in her latest blog. This is something that only a fellow long-term unemployed job seeker can understand or someone who has experienced this. I personally experienced this, being unemployed for almost two years. I hated it when my family members would ask how my search was going. I found it hardest when my grandmother asked. I really hoped to find a job before she passed. As it turns out, I did not land until 4 months after her passing. I think the best medicine for this is job seeking groups and job search buddy groups. These offer support for others who truly understand.

Other members of the job search group mentioned Christmas shopping and people taking a break from their job search for the holidays. While spending time with your family during the holidays is important, it is a mistake to take a vacation from your job search. Susan Joyce, of, gives many reasons for keeping the search going strong, including using your job search as an ice breaker during holiday events. Additional, some employers are desperate to fill positions, with fewer people applying. This is also a great time to reestablish connections through email, Facebook, and other social media, or even old fashion holiday cards. During my job search, I sent out a holiday newsletter. It was a great way to share news about my family, and let me connections know about my job search.

Come January, I think I will see better attendance at these meetings, but in the meantime, I want to encourage my job seekers to continue their efforts.

Bottom line, the holidays are not the time to put your search on hold. Instead, change focus from applying online, to having meaningful conversations with friends and family and reconnecting. Enlist your closest allies in your search, and take some time to enjoy yourself too.

Please share with me how you are keeping your job search going strong during this holiday season.

Rachelle Lappinen serves as the career counselor at YWCA, the largest and oldest women’s organization in the United States, working with the Young Parent’s Program. Rachelle is also an advisory board member of the Institute of Career Transitions, an MIT sponsored research project, on long term unemployment. In addition to volunteering with ICT, Rachelle is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and a Global Career Development Facilitator. Throughout her coaching and volunteer experiences, Rachelle has been noted for her determination and persistence to help those in need of career guidance.

P.S. The picture above is from this year. What is wrong with it? We are not in Hawaii. Here is a hint – Global warming – so for this Christmas, my wish is to get solar panels on my roof… I have also turned this into a part time green energy business…

Picture from last year:

Holiday blog

P.P.S. I was in a recent job search from August until November, almost into this holiday season… I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time… and am now working full time, as I got a job out of attending an awesome two-week workshop….

Please share your holiday job search stories with me. I just heard a great story from one of my clients, who learned of a job at a Boy Scout Christmas party, after talking to a fellow parent. This was the father of one of his son’s best friends, and yet, my client never knew that the man’s wife worked in HR is the company that he was trying to apply to…

By day, Rachelle, working mother of two, serves as an education advocate and career advisor for MassEdCO. By night, Rachelle provided career consulting and works to promote green energy. When Rachelle is not writing her blog, advising her students, or coaching her clients, she enjoys camping and going to the theater with her two children.

Follow Rachelle on Twitter at @RLappinen and follow her blog at


About Rachelle Lappinen

​Rachelle Lappinen is a Career and Academic Consultant and a Green Energy Ambassador. Currently, Rachelle serves as an education advocate for MassEdco working with high school students on college and career navigation. Rachelle also consults working with MIT on a research program, researching the effects of long-term unemployment on the middle class and developing best practices to help this population. Rachelle has worked at Mount Wachusett Community College, the YWCA and Becker College as a Career Development Counselor. Before becoming entering the field of workforce development, Rachelle spent over 10 years working as an insurance underwriter. Throughout her coaching and volunteer experiences, Rachelle has been noted for her determination and persistence to help those in need of career guidance. As a volunteer, Rachelle is actively involved with the non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg and the Center for Women and Enterprises. Prior to entering the coaching world, Rachelle was a senior group insurance underwriter for Unum, and sales representative for Prudential Financial. She actively involved with the Career Counselors Consortium and is a member of the Career Resource Rachelle M. Lappinen, MBA, GCDF, CPRW
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