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Feeling like you're "on a losing streak" looking for work, staying employed?


Historically, the last two months of a calendar year are seen as 'slow' hiring months--holidays take over folks attention, including recruiters, HR managers, and managers needing to make the new hires.  But getting people together, both candidates and the group that will interview the candidates, can be difficult.


One tip I give every year about this time is to be the more diligent in your networking.  Few people with steady incomes are 'ungracious' at Thanksgiving time or want to 'play Scrooge' as Christmas and New Year's approaches.  I was reminded of this recently by an EaRN Work Search Roundtabler (actually, a former Roundtable) who just landed a new position with a great manufacturer that is growing; "yes, Mildred, there are manufacturers in the USA that are doing well") after a long transition period.


I asked Jim what advice would he give others still looking.  His response, in his typically succinct fashion, was this:


  • Persist, persist, persist.  Or as Winston Churchill said, "Never give in."  See this link for more about Churchill's famous 1941 commencement speech (,28804,1898670_1898671_1898655,00.html), and this if you're a baseball fan:  "What if your 4th quarter [work search] effort was like the Cardinals? The Cardinals trailed the Braves in the wild card race by 10.5 games with 32 left on the schedule. They trailed the Braves by 3 games with 5 to play. They trailed the Phillies 1-0 and 2-1 in the National League Divisional Series. They trailed the Brewers 1-0 in the NL Championship Series. They trailed the Rangers 3-2 in the World Series. They trailed the Rangers 5 times in Game 6. Then, they won Game 7 and their 11th World Series.

    The lesson is clear [from Jim above and those Cardinals]: CEOs [and those looking for new work and income with a TOMASE* attitude], don't give up. Grind it out. One game at a time. Have every member of your team [read, network] show up and contribute. Do your best. Do the little things. Forgive each other's errors and lift each other. Love each other. Have some fun. Cherish your unexpected 'squirrels.' Win. And win. And win."  -Tom Searcy quoting his friend, Tom Schaff, with editing by 'yours truly'.


  • Use your business cards (TOMASE*) everywhere you go, including with family and friends during the holidays, adding information and notes to those business cards you receive ("give-to-get") as reminders of where and when you met, something unique to remember about the person, not just their work, and as you learn about the challenges they're facing, a note to yourself to be looking for information that might be useful to that person.


Jim and the Cards experiences are pertinent to all of us year-round, and particularly so during the mid-November to mid-January time period.  Jesus words again should be ringing in our minds, "Do for others as you would have them do for you" (Matthew 7:12), including sharing this blog entry with someone else this holiday season.  Winston Churchill seems to have internalized Jesus' command and shared it another way: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."


Be about "making a life" throughout the holidays and into 2012, for in so doing, you will find new work.  There are EaRN affiliated ministries prepared to help you do just that!


[*= Like of myself as self-employed]

-Ken Soper, MA, MDiv, NCCC, MCC