Tony Rohr managed a Pizza Hut Restaurant. He worked for the company for more than 10 years. When the corporate office ordered him to open on Thanksgiving, Rohr refused, arguing that his workers deserved to have the holiday off. Corporate didn’t agree, and they fired Rohr. Asked if he has regrets about his actions, Rohr answered, "No, not at all," he said. "I'm glad I did that."
Tony Rohr should be an example and hero for us this Thanksgiving. Pizza Hut is a turkey.
A new jewelry store has opened near my office. Every day the store owner puts a sign in the window saying what she is thankful for that day. We need to do something similar with our careers, and there is no better time to do this than Thanksgiving. Take 10 or 15 minutes and write down everything you are grateful for as a professional. Even if you are unemployed, think about your strengths and be thankful for them. Psychologists have found that expressing gratitude helps us stay balanced and keep a positive outlook. My wish for you this Thanksgiving is that you find many reasons to be grateful, especially when it comes to work and your career.
Laura Clawson of Daily Kos contrasts retail stores that will be open on Thanksgiving and those that won’t. She quotes statements by an executive from Costco, who says that his company respects its employees, and an executive from Walmart, who says something about employees being excited to work on a “high energy day.”
While I think the companies are wrong to be open on this day, we as consumers bear guilt for this circumstance. If consumers valued the holiday over bargains, the stores would not be open. Corporations may be vile in their love of profit, but we are too often complicit in beating up our fellow workers.
Clients will sometimes ask if there is a good time to look for work or a bad time to be conducting a job search. My answer is that someone who is unemployed or wants a better job should never stop looking. That said, there are hiring cycles when jobs are more available.
Generally speaking, hiring rises in mid-January through early summer tails off a little until Labor Day picks up strong through Thanksgiving and slows down a lot through the New Year. That’s a general model of hiring. What does it mean for the individual job seeker? It means you should work hard on your job search between now and Thanksgiving, but you should not stop looking on Black Friday. I’ve had clients hired to new jobs on the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day.
A good job search never ends until the job seeker gets an offer. Understand the hiring cycle and expect to see fewer ads posted during slow periods. Still, some company will always be hiring because an employee moves, retires, gets sick, or dies. Companies expand and need new workers now – whenever now is.
Be realistic in your job search, but you also need to be equally persistent and resilient. Stopping your search for any reason kills momentum, and then it is very hard to get started again. Keep looking even when the market dips around the holidays. Look hard now. This is the time to be really busy.
Juan Cole, who writes Informed Comment, my favorite blog on the Middle East, has a great post on a church in Memphis that is celebrating Thanksgiving in a joint ceremony with Muslims and Jews. The groups are also celebrating the holiday by working together to feed the homeless. Cole blends this story with a glance back at the original Thanksgiving, another time when Christians joined with people of another faith.
Cultural understanding takes work. We are lucky to have people like Juan Cole who cut through so much of the smoke we are fed by the media. Happy Thanksgiving.