It’s holiday time and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or Diwali it’s a time where the daily grind pauses and people come together to celebrate with family and friends. Attention shifts from work or looking for work to celebrations and gift giving. Does this mean you should pack up and shelve the job search until the New Year? The answer is ‘no’. While it can be refreshing and rejuvenating to connect with family and friends, this can also be an important time to focus on your job searching efforts. Many people assume companies do not hire in December, so it is common for job seekers to stop looking for work. In fact, I have had two jobs in my career that have started in December so I am living proof that the hiring process never stops.
If you think about it, since many people stop job searching until the New Year, competition for jobs during this time automatically dwindles. You speak to any Employment Counsellor and you will hear the same thing; in your job search where competition is fierce you must make yourself stand out, in a good way, to employers. You want to narrow the competition. Perfect! With many job seekers taking themselves out of the running for jobs during this time of year the competition is narrowed for you automatically. And there are more positions out there than what you may think. Many companies are aware of their hiring needs for the next year and want to get any hiring out of the way by the end of this year so they can take their holidays. Take advantage of it!
How do you find out about these job opportunities? You can avail yourself to the usual suspects- looking for work using newspapers or online methods. But think about it. What happens most around this time of year? Holiday parties! So, put your networking skills to good use and talk to people about your job search. For the most part you will be mingling with family and friends so since you already know most of the people there the networking becomes a little easier. You never know the connections your cousin with whom you haven’t spoken to all year has with other people who may be hiring. Now I’m not suggesting you hound people and mention it over and over again that you are looking for work. You must be reasonable about it or else you risk being referred to as the crazy, tipsy and ‘desperate for a job’ person. I’m just saying that by mentioning your job search in a sentence or two will be enough to plant the seed to those you were talking to.
If all else fails and you get no leads over the holidays, take the time to revamp the resume, practice interviewing or schedule information interviews for the New Year. Volunteer! It’s a great way to meet new people, exposure yourself to new experiences (that can add to your resume) and it’s another way to network.
Use this time wisely! It can result in one of the best gifts you can get this year- a job.
Carrie Marino is a student from the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Follow our MCACESblogs for the latest tips and techniques to improve your work search! For more information about MCACESblogs, or the Career Consultant Certificate Program, please contact Lidia Siino, Professional Development & Communications Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org