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What are you fixin’ to do this holiday season? Relaxing? Priming a turkey? Watching football? How about preparing your job search? No? Related: #1 Thing You Haven’t Considered In Your Job Hunt You see, many job seekers think the holiday season is a time to ‘refrigerate’ their job search campaign. They are mistaken. In fact, the holiday season is the perfect time for you to thaw your job search tools, prep, dial up the heat, and get cooking! While most job seekers will join you in re-launching their job search around… January, with our holiday job search recipe, you will stay ahead of your competition (because you are just that smart!). So, leave the turkey roasting to your significant other (help just a little) and work on your own dish this holiday season. Here's what you will need for your holiday job search preparation:

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It’s almost time for Halloween! The chill is in the air. The leaves are turning on the trees. Bags of candy of every description practically fall off the shelves into your basket as you wind your way through the grocery store. And everyone—especially the kids—has started to think about what their Halloween costumes this year will be. Related: How To Throw An Amazing Office Holiday Party Halloween isn’t just for children, however. Many adults enjoy having the opportunity to dress up in costume and celebrate “All Hallows’ Evening.” And many businesses feel obligated—or enjoy, as the case may be—decorating for Halloween the same way they decorate for Christmas. The dilemma one faces as Halloween approaches is what sort of activity and what type of “costume” one should consider wearing to work? While you want to have fun, you also need to display good judgment. Let me share with you an example of poor judgment. I was a teacher and librarian for a mid-size elementary school for many years in a past life. We celebrated Halloween by allowing the children to bring their costumes to school, dressing up after lunch, and going on “parade” through the school. Each class, then, had a party that consisted of cupcakes, popcorn, Kool-Aid, and party games. Everyone had fun, and the kids always enjoyed themselves. Some of the parents also got into the act and dressed up. Imagine the horror of the teachers and the principal when one parent showed up one year in white jeans, a white tee shirt and “fake” dynamite sticks attached to his belt. In our book—in most people’s book, I would hope—that was the height of bad taste and insensitivity. The principal was placed in the awkward position of telling that father that he was not welcome in the school dressed in that manner. He was ticked off over being asked to leave the premises… but, let's face it…that sort of costume for an elementary school was in extremely poor taste. He was the only one who thought he had been “clever” with his costume. And while that particular costume may have been appropriate for an adult party later in the evening, it was most inappropriate for a school setting and a school party. Unfortunately, as time went on, the costumes even for the children got more and more outrageous and inappropriate. By the time I left that school, Halloween costumes even for the kids became a thing of the past. There might be a small party at the end of the day, but costumes were banned because they became increasingly ghoulish, grisly, and age inappropriate. This week, I saw on the news that someone has already come up with the idea of selling a Halloween Hazmat costume. You know, some things just aren’t in good taste.

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Let’s face it: the holiday season in the U.S. can be so blessed and wonderful, but if you are in the middle a painful time in your life, it can be even more than we can bare. So, how do you get through a holiday job search? As my husband goes through his transition, I actually dread this time of year. One, for the social commitments I may or may not want to attend to; and two, for the pressure of gift giving, especially when there is no money for gifts and I love to give. It hurts not being able to give to family and friends. I hate it. But with my frustrations comes time with family and friends, that is humbling and truly blessed. Just being together to share triumphs and tragedies from the past year and plan to a hopeful future for the year to come. How blessed that is.

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It’s that time of year again, when job seekers think they may as well stop looking for a job throughout the holiday season. No one will be hiring anyway, so you may as well take the rest of the year off, right? Not true, according to HR and job search experts. Although some companies may have no budget left for hiring, others still have openings they need to fill by the end of the fiscal year. That means it’s unwise to assume a company won’t be bringing on new candidates unless they announce a hiring freeze. The savvy career searcher maintains job hunt momentum throughout the holiday season and finds fresh ways to leverage networking to open doors with hiring employers. After all, there are increased opportunities to network offline throughout this period, and each event you attend offers the gift of connecting with people you haven’t met or haven’t met in awhile. As you launch your own holiday networking campaign, make sure you avoid these “naughty” tactics and follow the 'Nice' holiday networking tips instead.

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