One thing's for sure. Shopping for the holidays can be a daunting task. You have choices to make. You have to wait in line. It may cost you more of your hard-earned than you expected or can afford. And, there's that element of surprise you want to provide for the people involved.

Job-hunting is no different. It can be a challenge with many choices to make. Which career field do I choose? How do I best present my skills for the maximum effective chances for getting hired? Do I relocate and take a chance in a new and unfamiliar region of the world that I've never been to? Will taking a temporary pay cut provide an experience that will turn out to be a huge reward later? How many other people are in line for this position? How can I surprise my future employer with some rare skill or ability only I have?

If you haven't done so already, now is the time to get specific on what you're shopping for career-wise. If you plan wisely, you will have continuity between what you want and the jobs you apply for. If you dont plan your career carefully, you might waste an employer's time - and that's not good.

Think about a few things:

  • Are you truly solid on your game plan with each individual company you've interviewed with or did you just wing it?
  • Did you get caught up in the mindset that everyone is hiring Veterans and all you have to do is show up, yell "HOO-AH!", and get a job on the spot?
  • Have you found the right fit? Imagine if you went from The Marines to the Air Force, for example. How would you act? How would people respond to you? Imagine the same for various branches of service. Now, imagine all that military bearing in a highly civilian corporate culture. Do you fit in?
  • Have you explored the percentage of former military employees at the company you wish to work for? If you have fears or hesitation about your ability to work with civilians, you might seek employment at a company that has a large population of former military people. What might that do for you?
  • What about going it alone and starting your own business? Have you found a business model that you've been looking for that can result in a huge success for you?

Re-gifting is a term used to describe when a person receives a gift, doesn't particularly like or want it, then gives it to someone else. It's a common practice for some people. The reality is that we usually never know when something we thought would be good for someone gets rejected. Nobody ever calls you up to tell you they didn't like what you gave them now, do they?

Maybe this is because they don't want you to take things personal.

When you present yourself to a company, they may not see you as part of their team. Their form of "re-gifting" comes in the form of a rejection letter, an email telling you that they filled the position or maybe no response at all. "No news is good news" is not always the case.

But, we may never know any and all the reasons why we didn't get selected for the job. Unless you have a Friend that can give you the inside scoop as to why, you may never know. That said; don't lose any sleep over this reality within the hiring game.

Your best bet is to go back to basics! Keep practicing your interviewing skills. Polish that resume and make sure you have different versions for different types of positions. Keep networking too! You never know when the right job may come along. You must remain prepared at all times; otherwise you might miss a huge opportunity!

As this all started off with a parallel about gifts, here's one more thing to consider:

Sometimes gifts get returned.

Have you returned to some of the previous companies who didnt hire you and re-apply for the job?

Things change, people move, companies restructure, and job openings pop up out of thin aire sometimes! But youve gotta be ready!

Do you know what you're shopping for?