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How to cope with job loss during the holidays

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Job loss hurts at any point during the year but during the times when society suggests you should be the happiest, it often hurts the most. Every Christmas, no matter what the economy you hear of major layoffs or companies shutting down. There are still many companies who run on a fiscal year of January to December and therefore making major corporate decisions at that time of year makes sense to management and number crunchers.

Major layoffs always make an impact

It just never makes sense to the people it impacts and it tends to have a much more devastating effect on people when it happens at that time of year. Just yesterday, Wausau Papers announced that the Brokaw Mill will be shut down on March 31 which will affect 450 people. The paper industry has been hit hard by the changing way that we communicate. With the advent of technology, there is less of a need for paper than ever before. News sources reported that in recent history more than 16,000 employees have been affected by mill shutdowns just in our Wisconsin area.

Millworkers are some of the most skilled workers around with many of them having millwright, machinist, and forklift operating skills that are transferable to other industrial applications. However, this layoff will still affect the employees as they have to find ways to use those skills in new settings. Other employees from the office side of operations will find themselves needing to market sales or accounting skills to new employers.

No matter what field you are in, Christmas and the rest of the seasonal holidays challenge job seekers. At a time when people are supposed to be more joyful, they have suffered a loss.

What can you do to cope with job loss during the holidays?

  • Develop a plan to make sure you don’t add excessive expenses during the holidays. Careful shopping with a planned budget targeting more needs than wants can still make for a Merry Christmas.
  • Plan dinners at home and select special menus that have meaning for your family without being extravagant
  • Don’t omit church services or gatherings. Faith-building activities can restore your hope and connect you with others who care about you.
  • Use holiday gatherings for networking opportunities to learn about new jobs and connect with people who can help you move forward.
  • Use the multiple free resources of career professionals on the web. The blogs and other resources that are free to help you are a great starting point.
  • Invest in expert help to shorten your job search.
  • If you find yourself really struggling emotionally, look for professional help such as a counselor or pastor.

How can your friends and family help you during Christmas and the holidays?

  • Keep their eyes open for new opportunities for you that fit the profile of the skill sets you have.
  • Be supportive and help you focus on the positive.
  • Help connect you with people who make hiring decisions.
  • Give gift certificates for professional resume writing or career marketing services will help to make the job search shorter and help the job seeker be more confident in this difficult time.

Stay confident. My clients have been finding new opportunities even throughout the recession. You do have to use strategy and be focused on accomplishments to succeed but you will succeed if you do.

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