Christmas is just around the corner, and many of my clients who are looking for a new job ask me “Should I stop looking for a job during this period or should I keep looking?”
Of course Christmas and the holiday period is a wonderful time to take a break, relax and enjoy your family and friends, and hiring traditionally slows down at this time of year. However, the hiring process has not completely ground to a halt. Hiring is still happening!
Companies are looking to fill not just seasonal positions, but for some companies the hiring budgets will reset before January 1 and they will already be thinking about ramping things up in the New Year.
So you could, but you don’t have to, take a leave pass for the holidays. You could, and again you don’t have to, keep the momentum going. The most important thing to remember is to use your time and focus your efforts on reaping the highest benefit. For some, taking a well-deserved break will be just what’s required to put you in the right frame of mind to hit the jobs search process again in the New Year. For others who prefer to keep going, what are the activities you could focus on at this time of year that are most likely to bring you the most return?
5 Reasons to Keep up Your Job Search Activities in the Lead up to Christmas
- There will be less competition at this time of year. Many candidates who are in between jobs stop searching for jobs over the holidays, and those with jobs who are thinking about making a change tend to wait until the New Year to take advantage of holiday leave and bonus payouts.
- Hiring managers are easier to reach they might not be traveling as much as usual as the holidays approach. It’s more likely that they are finishing up on projects, catching up on administration before the holidays, meeting with colleagues and attending holiday gatherings.
- Take advantage of the holiday spirit. Everyone seems a little happier and friendlier during this time of year so use that to your advantage when scheduling networking meetings for the New Year. Focus on the networking at this time of year as you may find that people are more willing to meet as work demands slow down, helping turn short discussions into long-term opportunities. Remember that all the Christmas parties will give you the opportunity to meet new people and expand your professional network; so keep an open mind (and ears) when attending events.
- Get a jump-start on January by leveraging your professional network so they understand exactly what you have to offer. Many companies review their staffing needs in January so be well prepared and create the opportunities for the right people to get to know you.
- You can avoid the rush if you keep going and maintain momentum during this holiday season because the New Year is always full of reminders to start afresh, to think about a ‘new career in the New Year’, turn over a new leaf and set new career goals. If you keep up your job search efforts through the holiday period, and you’ll be ahead of the game by the time others are making their first calls.
5 More Things that You Can Do Over the Christmas Period
- Look out for freelance work, volunteer at your favourite Not For Profit, or create new projects that can help to boost your portfolio of work AND skills for the new year.
- Make contact with other job seekers and set up an accountability group to keep you motivated. www.meetup.com is a good place to start when looking for a like-minded group of professionals near you.
- Take the time to revamp your LinkedIn profile by making sure that you craft your Summary so that it projects you into your desired direction. Fill that Summary with the right key words that will pop up in a LinkedIn search by recruiters or potential hiring managers. Many of my clients found that once they optimised their LinkedIn profiles for search they were more visible and they received more approaches from head-hunters. Listen to this Podcast on the Top 3 Tips for a Stand Out LinkedIn Profile.
- Learn something new! There are many digital learning platforms such as www.udemy.com, www.lynda.com, or conduct a Google search for a learning provider that offers online courses that you can take over the holiday period. Whether it’s a course on presentation skills, leadership skills, communication skills, finding your life’s purpose, resume or interview skills, photography, writing, Microsoft Office applications, web design, etc., these online courses open up a world of possibilities for you. If nothing else, it will be interesting to learn something new!
- Boost your job search knowledge by reading career transition books such as www.navigatingcareercrossroads.com so that you are well prepared to market yourself effectively when 2016 arrives.
So there is plenty you can do in the lead up to the holiday period and also during the holidays if you wish to keep the momentum going in your job search. The choice is yours. I look forward to hearing what your plans are and also what is working for you.
If you’ve got any questions about the process, visit my LinkedIn job search group forum: Navigating Career Crossroads Forum Request to join and participate in our discussions!
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