It’s the holiday season, which means your cash flow may be running low — especially if you’ve recently been impacted by a layoff or you’re currently looking for work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! Other then avoiding “BYOB” parties, there are plenty of other things you can do to stay on budget while decking the halls.
Here’s a few suggestions to keep you on track:
1. Go with a friend and offer to split the “gift,” then skip on the bill because that’s what friends are for, right? Just kidding! If you do that you’re sure to get a lump of coal from Santa!
2. Bring something handmade or re-gift (just make sure you remember who gave the original item or things could get awkward).
3. Offer to help with cooking or other tasks before the other guests arrive.
4. Ask if the host or hostess would be open to an “exchange” party, such as a cookie exchange. That way you won’t have to cook as much and waste money on expensive ingredients, plus you’ll get a variety of cookies to munch on. Just watch the waistline!
Mitigating the Mingling
How do you counter the most common and potentially awkward introduction question of all? (You know the one: “What do you do?”) For starters, you don’t have to answer with, “I’m unemployed” or “I’m out of work.” Instead, you can always say: “I’m in between jobs” or “I’m working on some leads,” which should be enough to satisfy a stranger’s curiosity. If you’re taking classes or upgrading your skills you can mention those, too.
But how about taking it up a notch and giving an answer that’ll really get the conversation started? “I’m pursing/looking at new opportunities in my field” — or even better: “I’m exploring and open to change.”
These answers will open up the conversation (if that’s your intention), so you can talk about your skills and what you’re specifically looking for, which will sound much more proactive and positive. It may even open up some doors for you if the person happens to be well-connected. Now who doesn’t like to party with someone like that?
So grab the eggnog and have some fun – the New Year is upon us!
This blog was written by Elaine Logie, Program Manager of the General Carpenter Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Youth.