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How to Make the Holiday Season Work for Your Job Search

Tis the season to networkWhile it can be very tempting to take a break during the holidays with your job search efforts, it’s a fact that December and January remain strong hiring months. The savvier move therefore is to recharge and keep moving forward in your search. Consider the following reasons why you should continue to network and connect with decision makers at your target companies:

  • It can be a great time to pick up freelance work or a contract assignment as companies try to complete projects by year-end or need help filling in for staff on vacation – and remember getting your foot in the door through a contract assignment offers a great opportunity for both parties to meet each other and test the waters.
  • The upside to employees taking vacation time is greater odds of the hiring manager picking up his/her own line if their assistant is out on vacation. These odds can be further improved by calling first thing in the morning since many executives arrive by 8 or 8:30 (or earlier) when their assistants may not start until 9:00 am.
  • There is still hiring during December. Sometimes a department or group is at risk for losing the headcount if they don’t fill the spot by year-end or sometimes it’s budgeted for this year and they don’t want to risk losing the funding so they remain focused on filling spots through December. How do I know this?  I placed multiple candidates during the month of December every year while I was an executive search consultant. Our office never came to a stand-still.
  • Take advantage of the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It can be a very quiet week at many companies so if you stay focused and make calls, there’s a greater chance the people who answer will have time to speak with you. 
  • Similarly, it’s a great time to schedule informational interviews. People who are relaxed and in good spirits at work will be more amenable to speaking with you and trying to help you out.
  • And last but not least, realize the numbers are on your side. Since so many job seekers do slow down their efforts at this time of year, if you keep the pace, you’re cutting through less chatter and giving yourself better odds of getting through to a hiring manager or scheduling an interview.

So while it can be tempting to take a breather during the holidays, keeping the pace between Thanksgiving and New Year’s will get you closer to landing a new job in the new year.