There’s a common misconception that “no one gets hired over the holidays”. In fact, this time of year presents some unique opportunities for advancing your job search. Holiday tunes may be playing in stores, but it’s no time to back off on your search. Here are some easy ways to make the most of this time:
Socializing = Networking
Socializing gatherings create an easy way to grow your network. Of course you won’t pass the mashed potatoes and ask Aunt Sally for job leads. But mixing with people will allow you to reconnect, share your current goals with new people and hear about new opportunities in the process. Your nearest and dearest, the people you see at family gatherings, are most likely to want to help you in your job search. Meanwhile at larger gatherings, you are likely to mingle with new contacts. An easy way to turn a new social contact into a potential professional contact is to say “So what do you do?” or “How’s your work going?” Listen and connect then reach out at a professional level after the party.
Fill in to get your foot in
Holidays mean time off and, for some companies, that means increased use of freelancers to fill the gap. If you work in such a field, this can be the perfect time to get your foot in the door. Pitch yourself specifically as holiday fill-in the make the most of the opportunity to show what you can do. This is a great way to pave your way to being a potential permanent hire in the future.
Make the most of their downtime
Things definitely slow down in the final weeks of December, creating a good opportunity for job seekers to conduct informational or networking interviews. Ask a new contact out for a gingerbread latte or peppermint hot chocolate. People are often more relaxed and available when things are quiet around the holidays. In fact the week between Christmas and New Year is prime networking time for anyone who is in town and working.
Reconnect with Holiday Spirit
The holidays offer a great excuse to reconnect with your network. Take the time to sincerely thank those who are helping you. A small gesture, whether it’s an email, a card or a small gift, makes you memorable in the New Year. Do you send holiday cards or a letter? Be sure to include your job search in positive way.
The end of year rush
Sometimes companies have an end of year deadline to spend budget or make a hire. Any opportunity that is “use it or lose it” is ripe for pursuing. Add to the fact that other job seekers may be less responsive this time of year, and your chances for success increase. Keep your eyes open and respond quickly to leads.
Set up for success in the New Year
As you find things slowing down, use the time to clarify goals and create a plan for the New Year. January always brings renewed energy new hiring. So refresh your resume and troubleshoot your job search in preparation for success.