The holiday season may be “the most wonderful time of the year”—but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. For some, it’s a particularly stressful time due to the pressures of family expectations, buying gifts and fitting all those holiday parties into the schedule. If you’re in between jobs, these pressures can be amplified. You might be telling yourself (as many others do) that the holiday season is “down time” for employers, that no one is hiring, no one is looking at your resume….blah, blah, blah.
People who really believe the holiday season is a “slow” time of year haven’t paid attention to the traffic. Why do you suppose everyone out there is so stressed? Everyone is out doing stuff. Business is going on. And yes, employers are still hiring this time of year.
My point? If you’re committed to the job search, the holiday season is the time you don’t want to slow down. If nothing else, you’ve got less competition because of all those other people who stopped looking for work by making the same assumptions you did! You may have to change your strategy up a little bit, but there’s no reason the holidays have to put a damper on your job search. Here are some tips to make the most of this time of year when looking for work.
Stay in the Moment
Many job seekers start disengaging mentally from the hunt around Thanksgiving without even realizing it. Avoid this temptation; stay engaged. Assume companies are still hiring, keep working your job leads, keep scheduling those interviews. Remember, a lot of job seekers have left the marketplace because they assumed the holidays were slow. If you stay in the game when others drop out, your chances of getting hired are significantly higher. It’s plain old mathematics.
Use Holiday Parties as an Opportunity to Network
Yes, technically holiday parties aren’t the place to “talk shop,” but if you listen to the conversations, chances are that’s exactly what people are doing—because what else are they going to talk about? Be sensitive to the moment—you don’t want to break the festive spirit by being overbearing—but it’s completely appropriate to mention during your party conversations that you’re looking for work. Networking happens all the time, even when people aren’t doing it on purpose. Don’t miss the opportunities to network casually during these parties—you never know what opportunities will turn up.
Expand Your Holiday Card List
The holidays are a perfect excuse to “ping” potential employers, networking contacts and recruiters with a holiday greeting. It’s a great way to keep your name top-of-mind because holiday cards aren’t considered invasive. They’re expected. Take advantage of this opportunity to stay connected.
Make Use of Any Extra Time
If you’re doing a job search while still employed somewhere else, if you experience a slowdown at work, use that down time to your advantage by scheduling more interviews and doing more online networking. Again, don’t assume these places aren’t hiring; instead, consider the possibility that other firms are also experiencing a slowdown, and therefore they may actually have more time to talk to you!
Target Temp Jobs Where Appropriate
Depending on what type of work you do, some firms actually hire extra seasonal help over the holidays. If you get on as a seasonal employee and work your heart out, you may be able to parlay that opportunity into a permanent position after the holidays. Keep a sharp eye out for any companies on your hot list that are hiring seasonally, and don’t disqualify yourself from these opportunities.
Now, if you want to take the holidays off from your job search, be my guest. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t use the holiday season as an excuse not to try. With a bit of creative thinking, you can carry on an effective job search any time of year, including the holidays. If you want some extra help coming up with a strategy, that’s why I’m here. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 646-320-1126. We’ll set up a free 30-minute appointment to talk about your goals.