How to cope with holiday job loss

holiday job loss

Holiday job loss is the worst. 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. Many companies run on a fiscal year of January to December. Therefore, it makes sense to make major corporate decisions at that time of year. You and I may not agree but it makes sense to executive management and number crunchers.

Holiday Job Loss and 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.

Locally in 2011, 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 are affected by mill shutdowns in our Wisconsin area.

Millworkers are some of the most skilled workers around. Many have millwright, machinist, and forklift operating skills 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.

As companies strategize what divisions are most profitable, companies like GE and Siemens divest themselves of unprofitable operations. A job seeker needs to consider what the future will bring and do due diligence to see where to look for their next role.

I worked with many GE employees, especially GE Healthcare but also GE Corporate employees over the past few years as they have been culling their workforce. This enabled me to better understand the company and the job roles.

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 holiday job loss?

  • 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.
  • 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. Learn more here.


  1. Andrew Plath on December 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    It seems that this is the time of year when paper manufacturers seem to like to make that announcement like “Merry Christmas. Your out of a job!”

    • Julie Walraven on December 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Many companies do that unfortunately. It is not industry-specific.

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