The holidays are generally identified as the worst time of the year to search for a new position. Does that mean you should put your job search into hibernation? Absolutely not.
Still, take the time of year into account. The holidays present unique challenges to overcome. But they also offer some crucial advantages as well. You just need to know how to take advantage of the season.
According to statistics, the best time to search for a job happens early in the year, around January and February. Things remain strong through the spring and tail off during the summer. Another peak happens during the fall before things start to shut down during the winter freeze.
Don’t give up, however. You shouldn’t halt your progress for the last two months of the year. Rather, understand how to navigate a holiday job search and keep your career moving. Here are four tips to help you find a job fast during the holidays:
Fun as they can be, the holidays create chaos in people’s schedules. Work routines get broken up by vacations and days off. Meanwhile, family and personal priorities demand more attention during the last couple of months of the year.
As such, you can’t be rigid about your holiday-period job search. You might have to schedule interviews at unusual hours or deal with longer-than-typical delays in decision-making.
Stay upbeat and bend your schedule to the needs of your prospective employer. This will increase your chances of landing a great job.
Use the Holidays to Jumpstart Your Networking
The holidays are all about friends and family. Throw in former coworkers and other professional contacts, and you have yourself the perfect networking mix.
Use the friendly, open nature of the season to your advantage. Most jobs are found through contacts and the holidays offer the perfect time to network. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Send season’s greetings: The holidays provide the perfect ice-breaker. Send cards or other greetings to build closer relationships.
- Go to parties and mingle: Yes, holiday parties can become a grind. But they also provide a great way to meet new people and talk to old friends.
- Reconnect with old contacts: Should an old acquaintance be forgotten and never brought to mind? No, of course not. Use the holidays to touch base with people you’ve lost touch with.
Consider Seasonal Work
Some jobs are only available during the holidays. Yes, these are typically temporary gigs. But they can often open the door to longer-term opportunities.
Stay open to short-term employment during the holidays. Many companies expand their workforces in the final months of the year. Do a good job in these positions and you could find yourself positioned for a more permanent hire once the new year starts.
Build Momentum for the New Year
You might not be able to find a position during the last few weeks of the year. Many decision-makers take time off and operations often grind to a near halt during the holidays.
Still, even if you don’t secure a position before January 1st, that doesn’t mean your time was wasted. You can build momentum for the new year when many companies get back to full operations and open the books to new hires.
After all, most job searches take one to three months to complete. You can plant seeds during the holidays that will blossom after the calendar turns.
Remember: January and February represent a great time to find a position. You can get a jump on that prime season by doing much of the leg work during November and December.
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