This indecision’s bugging me
If you don’t want me, set me free
The malls and stores have been decorated for over a month now, and you know the words to all of the new Christmas songs, since you have heard them a million times. You are waiting for a reply from a previous interview and wondering if it is time to shut down your job search, as nobody hires during the holidays.
You are partly right.
As referenced in my previous article, Tips for finding Seasonal Work – there are employment opportunities leading up to Christmas. But what about the month of December? Is it worth the effort to keep plugging away at finding a job?
While it is true that most employers will slow down or freeze hiring during December, there are still fantastic opportunities to network and put yourself in a more strategic position for the New Year. Think of it as an early New Year’s resolution.
During this time of year people are wrapping up things for year-end. Their focus is not completely on work, but on the holidays, friends and family. Moods are more positive and people are more receptive to chatting about what the next year may bring. Use this opportunity to connect with your targeted employers to gather information about the company, upcoming job opportunities and their hiring process.
Having this information before jobs are posted in the New Year gives you an edge over the rest of the job seekers. You will know what jobs are coming up, when they are accepting applications, the hiring process and who is doing the hiring. If you are lucky and resourceful, you may even have secured someone on the inside who can pass your resume on for you.
It’s also a good time to follow-up on previous interviews where a decision has not been made. Most companies will want hiring wrapped up before the end of the year so they can complete any paperwork, finish budgets and project future headcount. People have a little more time to chat and may be more open to longer discussions on the decision and potential upcoming opportunities. Don’t go into the New Year thinking “what if” and “I wonder if they will call” – find out now. You can then start with a clean slate in 2012.
To be prepared for the potential opportunity of marketing yourself to employers, try this exercise: in seven words or less – describe what you do or what you can offer an employer. Think of this as your sales pitch, calling card or your brand. It’s a way to become more memorable. What I currently use for employers is “Helping employers land their next great employee”. I couple that with a profile picture on LinkedIn of me holding a large fish (Yes it’s real and I did catch it! Released it too).
You can choose to stop your job search over the holidays or keep plugging away to secure your next job. I’m not suggesting that you continue at 100%. Everyone needs some time off to relax, regroup and recharge. Just don’t completely stop, as you would be missing out on some great opportunities.
The benefits of job searching in December include:
- employers have more time to talk about current or upcoming hiring opportunities
- there is less competition, as some job seekers have given up their search until the New Year
- some companies could be hiring to use up $$ left in the budget
- the down time can be used to research employers and lay the groundwork for networking, as well as review your resume and adjust it, if you haven’t been getting interviews
- companies have a skeleton staff on over the holidays, so the odds of making a connection are higher
- besides, what else are you going to do??
So, use this time of year to your advantage. Don’t give up; keep plugging away. After all, this is your job search and you will get out of it what you put into it. Good luck. Don’t stop “taking care of business”.
And I’ll be…
Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I’ve been taking care of business, it’s all mine
Taking care of business and working overtime