Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season When You are Unemployed

Back to All Posts
unemployed holiday
Madison Schacht headshot.
Madison Schacht
Manager of Talent Acquisition
November 30, 2023

It feels like everyone around you is in celebration mode, but your world has stopped, thanks to a dreaded pink slip. Being unemployed is never easy, and facing the holiday season without a steady paycheck can leave you with a heavy heart. But That’s Good HR has some suggestions for celebrating on a budget – and finding a job that will help you start the new year right.

Holiday traditions don’t have to cost a lot of money

Some holiday traditions come with a hefty price tag. Consider changing your plans a bit this year, so you can keep the holiday spirit without emptying your wallet.

Check out your local amateur productions. Central Indiana’s high school student bodies are full of talent and goodwill. Many of our local schools have spectacular performances over the holidays, from vocal to instrumental. They also offer lower price points than their professional counterparts. Want to see the Nutcracker? Check out what the local dance schools are doing.

Keep an eye out for free. Do a quick web search of “free holiday events near me” to find out what’s happening nearby. For instance, Westfield in Lights on December 2 offers photos with Santa, live reindeer, and a tree lighting ceremony. The Athenaeum’s Christkindlmarkt has live music throughout the season. It’s time to introduce your kids to holiday polka music!

Pare down the gift giving budget. It may be tempting to put all your purchases on a credit card, but we recommend you show some restraint. Did you know that the average holiday credit card debt was $1,549 last year? If you’re struggling with unemployment, you’ll want to minimize your debt. Instead, have a frank talk with your friends and family, letting them know that you may be sitting out the gift exchange this year. Or, put your talents to work with homemade goodies. Your friends may be thrilled to receive a container of homemade soup to stash in their freezer and thaw in January when they just don’t feel like cooking dinner.

Be ready to accept generosity from others. We know this is tough, especially for people who pride themselves on being independent and self-reliant. If your parents say they still plan on buying gifts for everyone even though you told them you don’t have a budget to reciprocate, accept their gifts in the spirit they’re offered. Next year, maybe you’ll be in a place where you can be the big spender.

Hiring doesn’t take a holiday

At That’s Good HR, the hiring doesn’t necessarily slow down just because it’s the busy holiday season. Companies are still looking for talented individuals to fill open positions. Check out the That’s Good HR job board! It may be tempting to take a winter break with the kids over the holiday, but we recommend setting aside time each day for a job search:

  • Update your resume
  • Work on you cover letter
  • Reach out to friends and colleagues for networking leads

Consider temporary employment

Temporary positions are some of our favorite positions to fill at That’s Good HR. Temp jobs offer people a chance to learn about a company or industry without making a long-term commitment. These positions are a great opportunity when you are unemployed. You can still interview for permanent positions, and you can talk about the current job when you are interviewing. A temporary job helps you meet new people – and that can lead to a richer network, new skills, new opportunities and maybe even a permanent job within the company or in a new space.

Remember, in the words of the esteemed Dr. Seuss, the holidays don’t have to “come from a store.” Celebrate the spirit of the season this year and let That’s Good HR help you find a position that matches your skillset. Send us a copy of your resume now, and one of our recruiters will review it and reach out if we have any open positions matching your credentials. At That’s Good HR, we don’t take a holiday break from staffing. Reach out now to start a conversation.