Many job seekers think that they need to slow down their job seeking through the holidays, because nothing is going to happen between now and the end of the year. Businesses are hard at work closing this year’s deals as well as preparing for next year. Job seekers need to be doing the same thing. Holidays or not, businesses need talent.
Smart job seekers capitalize on holiday networking opportunities to find smart ways to build their job search momentum. They challenge conventional wisdom, and find the reality is a whole lot different than the myth! Here are six reasons why the holidays are a great time to accelerate your job search.
Conventional wisdom may be widely accepted, but it is not always wise. The belief that nobody is hiring during the Holidays is a good example. This is great news for you, the wise but unconventional job seeker! Less competition! It’s time for you to intensify your search and take advantage of the fact that others have slowed down their efforts and made an early start on ugly sweaters and egg nog.
Business travel slows down
One benefit of being a job seeker is that you don’t have to fight the airport crowds doing yet another business trip. And maybe you’re not the only one. Maybe those busy executives – the ones who are always on the road and hard to reach – have decided to give the TSA a miss, too. They’re back in town over the holidays and available to meet with you to give some valuable advice and key referrals that will help you in your job search.
People are more receptive
Tis the season to be jolly! Holiday parties with family, friends, and industry associations give you many opportunities to network. Decision makers, like everyone else, are in the holiday mood and more accessible. What’s more, if you play your cards right, they might invite you to that holiday party where you can meet other senior execs for more advice and information.
Budgets drive decisions
Without budget approval, there is no job. When budgets expire at the end of the year, no hiring manager wants to have to go to their boss and ask for new approval to hire next year simply because they didn’t get around to filling the position this year. They need to get that vacancy filled in a hurry! Target that hiring manager and show them you are the talented person they have been looking for. It’ll solve their problem – and yours!
Recruiters want their commissions
If there’s a recruiter involved, you can rest assured they want to maximize their year-end commission. And they don’t get paid unless you – or someone like you – gets hired before the end of the year. You’re well qualified, experienced and prepared. So, why shouldn’t it be you in that position?
You want to maintain your momentum
Winning that great job does not happen over night. You have to work at it diligently and persistently. Building and maintaining momentum is key. Your competition, having decided that partying and shopping is more important than job seeking, has dropped back to the end of the line. And, even if you haven’t already won the job, you’re ahead of the game and at the front of the line come the beginning of January! Ready, willing and able!
So, re-write the lyrics of the familiar holiday tune and sing “It’s the Best Networking Time of the Year!” Ask your Career Coach to help you change your thinking and adopt a different approach, to end up with the job you want, one where you can succeed. Remember that finding employment is a business transaction – you win the job because you demonstrate that you can solve the business problem that keeps the hiring manager awake at night. Become effective and impassioned in selling a product you know best – YOU!
Brian Hinchcliffe is Director, Executive Career Transition Services, with Career Partners International in Houston, Texas. He prepares executives for their next career opportunity.