Asking Santa for a new job? Read this.

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Santa or no Santa, some reflection might be in order. (From Bart Fields via Flickr/Creative Commons.)

Today Josh Sanburn of TIME Moneyland points out that since a lot of other folks are checking out for the coming week or two, this might be a good time to buckle down and focus on your job search if you have some spare time. Here at Idealist, our site traffic does slow very predictably at between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. But as of this writing, there are still more than 6,400 jobs listed on our site.

Whether you’re planning to rest and reflect or squeeze in some job applications before the end of 2011, here are a few links that might help. All can be found in the Idealist Career Center.

  • The Five Lens Framework: Developed by the Office of Career Services at NYU’s Wagner School, this exercise helps you identify the primary frame you look through when viewing your own career path: Organization, Role, System, Issue, or Population.
  • Help with networking: If “networking” makes you cringe, think of it as “community engagement.” You might even walk into those holiday parties with a slightly different outlook.

What are your plans? Is late December a stretch when it’s critical to rest and recharge? Is that a necessity this year or a luxury?

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Comments (8)


  1. Patrick McGinn writes:
    December 20, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I like the suggestion to “switch” the networking transaction around and focusing your intentions on finding good contacts for people you know are seeking employment. It just might be a win-win!


  2. Osdila Santiago writes:
    December 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I am a mature, intelligent, highly educated individual with a Master’s degree in Education/Counseling. I have known your site for a long time and have been job searching for a permanent position for a long time. I have wanted to give up and call it keeps, but what keeps me going is my son. You see, I do not only have to provide for myself, I have to provide for him.

    I will continue to search for jobs on Idealist.org in the hope of obtaining employment. If you know of an employer that is willing to hire someone with a Master’s in Education/Counseling and a degree in Business Administration email me.

    Thanks,
    O.A. Santiago


  3. Scott writes:
    December 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I live in Boston and going through a rough time in trying to land a job opportunity. I have a solid background in the nonprofit arena, two degrees in Paralegal studies, have worked in GLBT Health, Education and Training, and have strong client management experience.

    At present, I have returned to school for a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Advocacy and Public Policy.

    I have gotten few (if any) responses to my job inquiries. Everyone tells me it is not my resume, it’s not my cover letters, it’s not my background or level of education.

    My question…… then what else can it be??


  4. TJ writes:
    December 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Scott… it’s just the job market. You’ll find something soon.


  5. Idealist writes:
    December 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Crossing my fingers that TJ is right, Scott. Another person you could try to ask for advice is Alison Green at the blog Ask a Manager. Not sure how she selects which letters to answer, but it might be worth a try: http://www.askamanager.org/


  6. bucca writes:
    December 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Remember, education and health organizations use temp agencies to a near absurd level, particularly universities. Some assignment agencies have an entirely separate office with multiple agents solely responsible for an organization, such as a research university with work staff far outnumbering the student body. If a few months of what may be an elementary assignment can be underwent, complete the days tasks, learn the organization, and spread word of your interests.


  7. Mario Bodden writes:
    December 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Scott and other seeking employment. Idealist among other sites list all these open jobs that employers post are now well over 6,000+. Who exactly is getting hired??. There are qualified applicants out there with exceptional educational background and experience. What I believe is truly happening is simply that employers are posting these so called jobs to be in compliance with EEOC. As a matter of fact I don’t know of anyone in my circle of friends or colleagues who landed a job through a listing on Idealist or other job web sites. This is not a reflection of Idealist but of the organization having you believe that job actually exists; it does for someone internally for the most part.
    The best way now is to network with people you know and ask for help. Networking is really more efficient in obtaining employment. A great number of people are hired through a referral from a former boss, business owner, etc.


  8. Norma writes:
    January 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I recommend trying to start your own business or income producing career. Every large and small company or entrepreneur started with nothing at some point. We need to go back to the times when our parents could not get jobs (because of discrimination). What did they do? They started their own businesses, ranging from making and selling things to advertising and providing services and more. Pooling ideas and resources with others makes it even more doable.


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