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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

What You Need to Know About Job Search During the Holiday Season (It happens!)

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

It's the holidays. A time of spreading holiday cheer and planning holiday events, parties, and festivities. On top of this, a new decade is fast approaching!

Many jobseekers resort to the conception that hiring does not happen. A common belief is that managers or executives are or will be on holidays, not even thinking about hiring until the new year. Even if hiring managers take a vacation, business operations do not stop and hiring does happen, which is good news for jobseekers!

If you harbour this mindset that hiring doesn't happen during the holidays, you risk limiting your potential and prevent the onset of fruitful prospects. So be open to the possibilities and expand your thinking.

Give yourself the permission to allow opportunities to manifest. Be spontaneous, flexible, and interested about others' career passions and goals. Do a little exploration and forecasting. Offer your unique business value where there is a need. Think outside the box!

Let's dispel the common job search myths with some truths about job search during the holidays. A new job may be on the horizon, but you need to do some homework first.

The key message: Enjoy the holidays and leverage this special time as a way to network naturally. Stay focused on your career goals and conduct your due diligence and preparation.

1. Hiring occurs during end of year (and it's not just for temporary or seasonal jobs either).

According to recruitment cycles, one of the best times to look for a job is actually end of year in the month of December. That's right! And this includes short-term, contract, and long-term roles. Seasonal jobs could lead to long-term opportunities. The end of the year is when executives plan budgets and sales forecasts. Hiring decisions are made.

Did you know that January through mid-June is actually the biggest time for uninterrupted job search? This means you need to be prepared and flexible with taking a phone interview and attending an in-person interview within a short timeframe. Adjust your priorities to putting job search on the forefront rather than the backburner. You could just get a surprise phone call by an employer or recruiter! How will you choose to navigate the call?

2. Engage in networking over the holidays.

Now is a great time to leverage some free time at a holiday event to reconnect with former and current colleagues, family and friends, and professionals. Networking during the holiday season is an opportunity to build alliances, garner new ideas, offer and receive support, and catch up on the latest labour market and global trends.

If you are unemployed, reshift the focus from your situation by striving to learn more about your colleagues. Talk about your projects or initiatives that you are involved in. Stay positive. Contrary to popular myth, people will want to help you provided you are passionate, have a clear focus, and a coherent strategy.

3. End of year is a great time to carve out a goal plan.

December is the perfect time to take stock of your skills, evaluate the skills that need mastery, and take an inventory of your accomplishments. Next, carve out your vision and mission for the new year, including both short-term and long-term career goals as well as your professional development plan. The more focused you are, the more success you will have with your job search. When you have a clear vision and mission, the right people will flock to you and will be able to more effectively help you.

>> Who are you? What defines your brand / value? >> What do you stand for no matter what in terms of your core values?

>> What are your top strengths? >> What areas of expertise are you known for?

>> What milestones have you achieved this year that you are proud of?

>> What does your ideal role look like? Ideal environment and work culture? >> What do you need to take your career development and growth to the next level?

4. Apply a hidden job market based approach and diversify your job search.

The first thing that jobseekers tend to do is scope online job boards. Remember that hiring is more powerful when done through the hidden job market. Eighty per cent of opportunities are not posted online!

So what better way than to start with your trusted network of champions -- those people who know, like, trust, and respect you (and vice versa).

Explore the possibility of volunteering, taking up a new course or interest, or joining a professional association as a way of building connections and securing leads. When you get involved, you may encounter some interesting opportunities to make a difference. Participate in a committee or project leadership role. You will be able to address any skill gaps while helping others in a meaningful way and building a stronger community.

Numerous jobseekers forget that referrals are a great source for hiring top talent. Check out the statistics:

Employee referrals continue to be employers' top source of hires, delivering 30%+ of all hires and 45 percent of internal hires, according to
Referrals have the highest ROI. Referrals can reduce both time to hire and cost per hire, while improving quality of hires, decreasing turnover rate, and generating more profit.

5. Rethink and revitalize your brand.

Start out small. Polish up your personal brand as well. Polish up your look and take care of your health and wellness. This goes a long way to improving your outlook on life.

Take the initiative and have your résumé professionally recustomized as well as your LinkedIn as part of your brand marketing toolkit. How about taking an intensive course and brushing up on the latest technology? The contacts that you interface during your course could lead to your next job prospect or venture. Think creatively!

Explore target companies and do your research. Forecast opportunities. Expand your contacts. Contact recruiters and be ready for your next career move.

What else can you do to improve your job search skills? One of my clients is taking an intensive training program in the data science field that will offer new career-related and networking opportunities at the end of the program. So the ideas are limitless!

Invest in strategic interview coaching sessions. Work on improving your interviewing skills in advance rather than opting for coaching the day before an interview.

If you treat your job search as a regular marketing campaign where you put in diligent efforts during the holidays, when the new year approaches, you will reap the gains. Having a clear focus and doing a few simple things each day consistently pays off! Read more in my Holiday Job Search Guide, including the 4 Rs to a Successful Job Search.

Happy Holidays to everyone! Think positively about your job search. Visualize your goal!

Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon!

Creative Horizons Communications is a one-stop, award-winning holistic career services firm based in Halton, Ontario. Serving jobseekers of all fields and levels across the globe, we specialize in helping people confidently navigate challenging career transitions using a holistic, intuitive, and innovative approach.

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