Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Should You Pause Your Job Search For The Holidays?

Author: John Hadley
              Career Search Counselor, John Hadley Associates, LLC

There is one good reason to pause a bit on your job search during the holidays:
"I want to clear my mind and really enjoy the season, so that I can start up fresh and positive in the new year."
There is also one very bad excuse:
"No one hires during the holidays, so it's a waste of time and energy."
Many candidates tell themselves that:
  • People are too busy with the holidays to meet with me.
  • Hiring managers' minds are on the holidays, not on openings.
  • It's impossible to land interviews before year end.
  • No one extends job offers over the holidays.
  • Budgets aren't refreshed until the new calendar year, so there aren't any funds available for offers.

If those 'facts' were true, then why would this be the case? I only work with a select number of clients at one time, and at the height of the recession, two of them received job offers between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

And the next year four clients were invited in for serious job interviews during this supposed dead zone.
Even if we do assume that there are fewer interviews granted and job offers extended than at other times of the year, this is still arguably the BEST time for networking. Why? Because:
  • So many job seekers fall for the bad excuse I laid out above that the competition level for meetings and interviews is greatly reduced.
  • Potential networking contacts are in a more friendly, open and festive mood.
  • There is a plethora of holiday events you can attend.
  • People you meet with tend to be in a more giving spirit, consistent with the season, and therefore are more likely to take the meeting, and to give you something out of the meeting.
  • Business people tend to travel less, and stay closer to home when they do, often making it easier to find them in the office.

The conversations you have during the holidays position you for the new year, so that you start out the new year a leg up on everyone who put their searches on hold.

Keep in mind that if I as a hiring manager have a critical gap in my unit, I'm not going to put my attempts to fill it on hold. And I may actually be faced with losing my current year headcount if I don't fill it, so that I might actually be incented to fill it BEFORE year end!

So go ahead and enjoy the holidays, taking whatever time off you need to recharge and attack your career search marketing campaign with a renewed vigor in the new year. Just don't use that as a bad excuse to miss out on all of the great networking opportunities that present themselves over the holidays!