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5 Reasons Not to Let Your Job Search Fizzle during the Holidays

5 Reasons Not to Let Your Job Search Fizzle during the Holidays

Do you believe that hiring stops during the holiday season? IMPACT Group’s career coaches are unanimous in their advice: Don’t stop! Continuing your job search during the holidays might mean you’re the first hired in the New Year.

“Contrary to popular belief, the holidays are a great time for job hunting,” says Sue Ellison, a Relocation and Career Coach at IMPACT Group. “Many companies ramp up their business at the end of the year.”

Here are five reasons to keep the momentum going amidst your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or other holiday activities.

1. Your Competition Takes a Seat

Why? Two reasons. First, the passive job seeker (someone who is already employed, but is perennially looking) typically stops campaigning because he or she wants to focus on holiday activities. Second, all of the job seekers who believe in the holiday slow-down myth reduce their efforts and plan to re-launch their search after the holidays.

Our advice to you – keep on keeping on! Don’t let the holidays be your excuse to halt your job search. “As your personal schedule becomes busier, re-evaluate your job search plan and make adjustments as needed,” says Sue. “Set small, discrete, and realistic goals each week during the holiday rush.”

2. More Decision Makers are in Their Seats

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, business travel is put on the backburner. This means more leaders, executives, and decision-makers are at their desks catching up on business. Now is a great time to reach out to them for informational meetings and interviews.

“The decision-making process might slow down on the business end,” says Sue, “but definitely stay active with follow-ups after an interview or for informational meetings.” You can even use the holidays as your introduction. This can lead to interesting conversation starters – What’s your favorite holiday memory? What traditions do you celebrate with your family?

3. Budgets Might be in Your Favor

Depending on the fiscal arrangement of the company, there are many ways to look at this factor. In some cases, positions not filled by year-end could be lost to future budget cuts. “If a position is budgeted for 2018 and goes unfilled, the department might lose the funds in 2019,” says Sue. Also, many companies run their fiscal year concurrent with the calendar year, so first-quarter hiring approvals made during the fall/winter budget season are now being actively recruited.

Assume companies want to finalize hiring before December 31st and keep your résumés flying out the door. You don’t want to miss out on any last-minute job postings that might surface at the end of the year.

4. Networking Opportunities Abound

Holiday events, such as professional association parties, neighborhood get-togethers, or community activities, provide the perfect opportunity to expand your network. Don’t be afraid to mix business and pleasure. Sue comments, “If you don’t want to actively pursue positions, still use networking to your advantage during this time. People are generally happier and more communicative, and they might be in the giving spirit!”

Use these opportunities to engage in informal conversations about your job search and your strengths while making new contacts. Keep it light and casual. “I advise my clients to take business cards to every event. One side can list your contact information and the other side can include a shortlist of your expertise.” This is a great way to introduce yourself, provide something for the person to remember you by, and keep doors open for new opportunities. If someone seems like a potential lead, reach out to them later to request a more formal conversation.

5. Your Old Friends and Contacts Want to Hear from You

Consider sending holiday or New Year’s cards to your connections, even the ones you haven’t spoken to recently. “The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with old friends and contacts,” comments Sue. “Reach out to them to see how their year was and casually mention how your job search is going.”

This is a great way to let your network know the types of roles you are pursuing while also helping them stay connected with you and your family. So when you go to the post office for stamps, buy a few more to expand your holiday card list.

The holidays are almost here! Job seekers, use them to your advantage. IMPACT Group hopes it’s a joyful – and successful – season for you and yours.

Contribution by Sue Ellison

Sue Ellison is a career consultant and Licensed Professional Counselor. She specializes in assessments, talent management, and interview coaching. Connect with her on LinkedIn today.

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