Preparing Refugees – and Employers – for the Holidays

blow up santa squareThe holiday season can be especially disorienting for refugees, especially new arrivals, who are separated from friends and family at a time when “ideal” images of families spending time (and money) together are unavoidable.

The time is fast approaching when job openings dry up and attention shifts to year end tasks and personal celebrations. ESL classes, school and other activities will go on hiatus.

Clients may have more time on their hands and feel even more fear and frustration while they wait for things to “get back to normal” in January.

For Clients

Here are a few things you can do to help clients prepare before leaving for the holiday:

  • Inform your clients about your holiday schedule and any office closures so they aren’t caught by surprise.
  • Provide information about a few free community events that clients might enjoy (tree lighting, Santa visits, carolling).
  • Help clients identify job search activities they can do independently over the holidays.
  • Schedule an appointment in January so clients know exactly when they will be meeting with you again.
For Employers 
  • Check in so you can provide any support they need around holiday schedules.
  • Some types of business will be very slow during the holidays.  It’s never to soon to know about possible reductions in employee hours so you can help working clients budget accordingly.
  • Many employers will start the new year with fresh energy and plans to hire early before Spring brings increased workload.
  • If you haven’t already dowloaded Higher’s Free holiday eCard to send a special thank you to employer partners, there’s still time.  Download it here.

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