How to Handle Holiday Small Talk When You’re Looking for a Job


An article posted in the Wall Street Journal caught our eye. With the holidays coming up and the fact that our job is working with those who are unemployed we saw this as a relevant topic for our readers.

We can all acknowledge that the holiday gatherings we all attend can be anything but festive for those who are out of a job. Frustrated job seekers may find it awkward to have to explain over and over what is going on, or in this case not going one, in their lives.

A few tips presented are to watch the way you frame your questions – job seekers on the defensive may see casual inquires as loaded questions

Try “What’s keeping you busy these days?” instead of “How’s the job search coming?”

Putting a question in an empathetic context may help soften the conversation

Statements such as “I know this is such a hard time to be looking for work. I wanted to check in and see how you’re doing.”

Those examples are geared toward the employed, but if you are the unemployed, and you’re put on the spot the Wall Street Journal suggests defusing the awkwardness by listening briefly, acknowledging the request and changing the subject with something along the lines of:

“Hey, let’s enjoy the party and connect again after the holidays.”

Another tip for the job seeker is to take control of the conversation and keep it on natural grounds such as entertainment, music, or sports

More tips for party conversation and how to plan for the inevitable questions can be found on the original article.


Andréa Venezio , Chief Executive Officer
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