If you are unemployed and thinking of avoiding holiday job searching to start again in January, resist the temptation! Here are ten reasons to conduct a holiday job search:
1. If an organization goes to the trouble of posting a job ad in November or December, their hiring need is likely urgent and they probably want a new person on board before the first of the new year.
2. During the final two months of the year, the competition is much less. So many people take a job search vacation in November and December, there will likely be far fewer applicants for every job opening.
3. Some organizations have money that must be spent before the end of one calendar year before the next calendar year begins. You can help them spend it on a signing bonus when they hire you!
4. Create a structured schedule that outlines when you will job search and when you will relax and enjoy holiday preparation. Otherwise, November and December can just fly by with time getting away from you and then it will be January already.
5. When holiday parties put everyone in a festive mood, it can be an excellent time to meet new acquaintances or remind existing ones that you are available for work. Keep the tone friendly, light, and casual, but don’t be afraid to describe your expertise and what type of job you are seeking. Have business cards printed up that include your name, expertise, and contact information. Format your name and expertise like this: “Mary Jones, Supply Chain Analyst.”
6. If the thought of networking terrifies you, purge your mind of every cheesy association you have ever had about networking and reframe it as connecting with others. To build your skills, consider reading books by Diane Darling, Debra Fine, or Dale Carnegie.
7. If you are running low on funds and need to take a survivor job, consider choosing one that brings you into contact with a lot of people who may be hiring managers for their organizations. My favorite success story about this is a math and science teacher who landed a job teaching at a private school because the school principal chatted with him while the teacher was earning extra cash at a big box retail chain.
8. Send holiday cards to everyone you know and include a letter updating your friends and family about what’s been going on in your life. Include a brief paragraph about your job search and make it clear what type of job you are seeking. You never know who might know someone to whom you could be introduced.
9. Use social media to full advantage. Participate in professional groups on LinkedIn and reconnect with friends on Facebook. The more people who know your capabilities, the more likely someone introduces you to your next opportunity.
10. The holiday season can be super hectic, so make an effort to practice excellent self-care during this time. Get sufficient sleep and exercise and find time to enjoy your favorite hobbies or anything else that doesn’t involve overeating during the holiday season. The goal is to start the new year feeling rested and energized and ready to impress at your great new job.
Good luck and Happy Holidays!