The holidays are approaching and for many, it is a time to celebrate with friends and family and to forget about the woes of work. However, the holidays are the time you should be stepping up your job search. It is the season when companies are thinking about the year ahead, including staffing challenges, and when a little good cheer in the right quarters can land your next interview.
Why are the holidays a good time for job search? There are a number of factors:
- Planning for a new year – For many companies, the New Year is a new fiscal year as well and they need to plan their staffing before January 1. Since many of the other executive candidates will be taking off during the holidays, this is your chance to step in and demonstrate your expertise because there will be fewer competitors and possibly more opportunities.
- Vacations create opportunity – The holidays are the times when many key decision-makers are out of the office, which can complicate the hiring process. This also creates opportunities for creative job seekers. Business is slower so you make get key decision-makers on the phone. And if they are out of the office, they still need to hire for the coming year so they may actually call you back if you can address their problem. Executives have been known to interrupt their vacations to meet with short-listed candidates. Remember, they may have vacation days they need to use while balancing their hiring needs for the coming year, which could be a winning combination for you if you can get in front of the right hiring manager.
- Good will toward men and women – The holidays also are the ideal time for networking. Use the excuse of holiday cheer to get together with former colleagues and others. Show some interest in their holiday plans and forge a deeper relationship. Send holiday greetings to your online connections to promote conversation. Catch up with an eye toward your contacts’ needs for the coming year.
- Use the time to strategize – While others are taking time off, you can use the time to strategize to improve your search. Research potential hiring companies and refresh your existing research with an eye toward competitive challenges that you can help address for target companies in the year ahead. Use the time to refresh your marketing documents.
Remember that the season of holiday parties is full of networking events and companies are looking to fill positions before the New Year. Don’t take a break for the holidays but be even more aggressive in getting out there to rub elbows will holiday merrymakers. Who knows, Santa may put a new job in your stocking for Christmas.
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