Whoever is giving that advice and following it up with “hiring slows during the holiday season” I wish they would stop.
Just stop. It is terrible advice. The holidays are a great time to continue a job search. They provide unique opportunities giving job seekers a break from traditional searching techniques.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind during a holiday job search, including benefits of job searching at this time:
- Some searches slow down or are temporarily delayed; however, there are plenty of opportunities still available and interviews to score.
- Companies have a need due to a recent “reorganization” at the end of the year or by staff giving notice to take advantage of time off coupled with holiday closing. Candidates will be needed to fill these needs at the start of the new year.
- There is less competition because so many take the ill advice of taking a full break during the holidays.
- Holiday hiring has its own timeline. It requires flexibility and patience to accommodate staff taking time off before they lose it at the end of the year, holiday parties and companies closing for a day.
- If you do not hear by the end of the year it is not an automatic rejection. There are many factors coming into play, not only the ones mentioned above, but the human element of after the first of the year everyone reengaging to move forward.
- Fiscal year and budgets come into play so your start date could very well be after the new year, this could also work to your advantage in negotiating salary and benefits.
- This is the time for good cheer and many attendees at holiday events will welcome the opportunity to help you with your search or spread the word.
- There are more networking opportunities that come along with holidays – more events and more attendees. Think beyond company events to research and include Chambers of Commerce or professional associations, as well.
- Partner changing your strategy (attending more events) with changing your approach. Think of this push as growing your network instead of finding a job and it will increase your ability to enjoy the interactions much more. Added bonus – partner these two with a goal of helping those you meet.
- Use holidays as an excuse to reconnect with your network and gently remind them you are searching. Send holiday notes, cards or emails wishing them well and casually mention, in an upbeat tone, that you are continuing to search for your next great opportunity and know it will be coming soon. If your contacts have helped you in the past, be sure to thank them.
If you are uncomfortable with holiday cards, send a message at the first of the year wishing your network a happy new year with the same sentiment about continuing to search for your next great job, which you know is right around the corner.
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I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:
Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility
Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.
Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at companies, professional organizations and colleges speaking to leadership, sales, teams, transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about career mobility, personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.