Think the holidays are the worst time to look for a job? Not so fast...
Some experts warn that holiday season hiring prospects are dire. If you listen to these folks, you might as well just go into job search hibernation and kick your search back into gear again in the New Year.
The good news is that these experts aren’t exactly right. There’s a silver lining.
Searching for a job during the holidays can actually be a good thing. It may not be the very best time of year to look for a job, but there are plenty of positives! Here are just a few reasons why the holidays might be the best time for you to look for a new job. Hopefully this information will keep your spirits up and allow you to enjoy a wonderful holiday season!
There are plenty of networking opportunities.
The holidays are a time for families to gather together, tell tales of holidays past and enjoy food and beverages (adult or not) with one another. The same goes for businesses. It may not be hiring season, but party season provides lots of opportunities for networking. Like families, businesses tend to ramp up their hosting of events during the holiday season. So be jolly and take advantage of the increase in networking events.
Attend events like fundraisers, open houses and other opportunities that allow you to connect and mingle with people who can connect you to job openings. Even holiday parties at friends’ homes offer you ample opportunity to network.
Just be sure to approach each event in the right way. Don’t go all business mode at your friend’s party. Let your job search come up naturally in conversation. You don’t want to come across desperate, and you don’t want to burn any bridges with friends.
There’s holiday spirit to spare.
With all the parties and the holiday spirit going around, the holidays can tend to bring out generosity in people. This can be the same for hiring managers. Take some time during your holiday job search to send a friendly email or make a quick phone call.
Make sure when you reach out to you wish them a happy holiday. If you’re following up about a possible interview, it’s more likely you’ll get a response if you mention the holidays.
I know I can’t resist returning wishes of a happy holiday season when I’m offered them. If that response happens to come with an offer to stop by the office for an interview, then happy holidays to you!
The competition is limited.
Lots of people that are searching for jobs, whether employed or unemployed, take a break during the holidays. They buy into the rumors that a holiday job search is a dead end. Therefore, the numbers end up being in your favor.
The job seekers that are already employed, even if they hate their job and are actively searching, are more likely to take a break over the holidays. They’ve got a steady income, and sending in resumes and applications takes away from time with their families.
Those seeking employment often stop looking over the holidays as well. Don’t make the mistake of stopping a holiday job search. There are still plenty of job openings and employers actively hiring, so take advantage of the limited candidate pool and put your hat in the ring.
But it’s common knowledge that January is prime hiring season...
I speak from experience on this one. I’ve been in the job market in November and December on a couple of occasions. Both times I landed a job through my holiday job search because I ignored the rumors about the timing being bad.
If you don’t get a call back right away, don’t fret. Many employers will review resumes and set up interviews through the holiday season with the intention of actually offering the job in January. Whether for budgeting reasons or just because they don’t want to train a new employee before their own holiday break, this trend is reason enough to continue applying during the holidays.
I actually recall applying for a number of jobs in October and November years back and then giving up by early December. Out of the blue, one of the positions I’d applied for contacted me in the middle of December. I interviewed shortly thereafter and then heard nothing.
A week into January, I received a phone call…and a job offer. A few weeks later I was sitting at my new desk, in an exciting new role. I’m not the only job seeker with this kind of experience, so don’t give up on the holidays and keep your head high. You never know when that offer’s going to roll in.
Seasonal jobs often lead to permanent work.
Many companies need additional help during the holidays. Seasonal job openings abound. They can be great to put a little extra cash in your pockets for the holidays, but there’s another reason to be merry about the prospect of seasonal jobs.
Seasonal jobs can lead to full-time employment. Think of your seasonal job as an on-the-job interview. Seasonal jobs offer you the rare opportunity to prove yourself to employers by showcasing your skills within the day-to-day operations of their business.
Take your seasonal job seriously and do your absolute best. In fact, go beyond your best and show employers why they’d be crazy to not offer you continued employment after the holiday season. Talk to your boss and get to know them. When the time is right, let them know you’re interested in potentially continuing with the company and discuss your career goals with them.
Even if the seasonal job you land isn’t your dream job, the company you’re working for likely has openings in other areas that might be more of a fit for you. If you impress your employer within your seasonal role, they’ll likely be willing to put in a good word for you at the next level.
Don’t delay, start today.
Don’t wait to start a holiday job search. As they say, there’s no time like the present. Don’t let your job search get in the way of your holiday enjoyment, but also don’t let it keep you from landing that next perfect role.
During your downtime or in between family gatherings, find yourself a quiet spot in your home and submit your resume to a couple of positions. Shoot for five to seven positions per week. That’s between twenty and thirty per month.
By making this a part of your job search routine, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without dedicating too much time in one day to applying for jobs, and you’ll be sending out enough resumes to position yourself to get a wonderful holiday gift, a new job.
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