It’s mid-November. Everybody is aiming towards summer break and counting the days towards Christmas. There is a lonely crowd amongst us, though, called job seekers. For them, this time of year is frustrating…and January couldn’t come quicker. Each one’s scenario is different – some took on further studies and are now hoping to apply their new skills; others have been at it for the better part of the year, sending CVs and responding to dozens of job ads – all have one need in common: work.

Let’s face it. Job hunting is challenging, especially in South Africa, where the demand surpasses the supply of employment. I think it’s important to keep perspective – if you are job hunting in November, you are facing great odds. The economic, political and social environment out there isn’t friendly and is certainly not worried about what your next job will be. But, that serves no reason for you to become hopeless. You can still control who you are inside – your thoughts, emotions, dreams. The key, I believe, to keeping your head up, is to spend your time constructively: Take stock of your strengths, your growth areas, your skills, your qualifications, your past achievements. Imagine yourself sitting in different job interviews, think how you would sell yourself in different scenarios, answering various questions. Imagine yourself getting the job! Keep the positivity flowing.

I consider it important that job seekers analyse their entrepreneurial aptitude and abilities, their appetite for risk, their financial capacity(capital), their people skills, selling skills, etc. Digg deep and be honest with yourself. If you find this process of introspection too tedious, then find someone who can help you – a career consultant who will take your needs seriously. Important – don’t sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself. If you’re not entrepreneurial, you’re more the type of person that wants to be delegated to, then determine what your interests are. Hopefully, if you have a qualification, it is parallel with your interest(s). If you have various qualifications, it depends whether you have climbed the ladder, upskilling yourself, or whether you have diversified horizontally into a new field, allowing yourself to become multi-skilled. If you are the former, you are obviously specialising in some discipline. In that case, find a recruitment agent that specialises in that field and can assist in landing you the right job. If you are the latter, try to combine your skills, e.g. tourism and education combined into teaching or lecturing tourism. Then, press on your network of contacts – sell your enthusiasm, skills and expertise. Important, don’t only rely on online correspondence – get off you bum and meet people – hook yourself up with potential channels – don’t be shy!

If you are in a job, and want to move, don’t be in a hurry – don’t simply give up your financial security. Spend you free time constructively, engaging in the proposed introspective activities discussed above. I suggest you play open cards with your employer if you are looking to move elsewhere. Don’t burn bridges.

Tourism and/or hospitality graduates and job seekers, forward your CV to