Many job seekers believe that the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years comprise the slowest time to be searching for a job. Don’t fall prey to this commonly held myth, for these weeks can truly be your “most wonderful time of the year!”
A new survey of recruiters by online executive career network ExecuNet says that 69% of recruiters report that they place as many, or even more, candidates in December as in any other month. It isn't at all unusual for people to find new jobs even in that quiet week between Christmas and New Year's. Career advisers agree that workers who can persevere, shake off seasonal blues (as well as economic worries) and quickly change tactics to meet new situations often have better luck during the holidays than at other times of the year.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- If a job is open, it needs to be filled. Smart companies know that top talent is hard to find, and they will move their process forward – regardless of the calendar – to get the right people on board. Hiring managers often want their openings filled before Christmas, so it’s a great time to be active in your search.
- Many managers often feel pressure to be prepared when the new year hits. They want their teams in place so they can hit the ground running in January.
- Some hiring managers have budgeted dollars that they want to use before the year ends, so they will accelerate the hiring process to get a person on board before their dollars run out.
- The hiring pace can slow down due to vacations, etc., but that doesn’t hurt your chances, it helps you. In fact, hiring managers might have more time during this season, so it might be a great time for making contact and standing out.
- The holiday spirit often pervades and people are more laid back and willing to make contact and build relationships. Professional networking opportunities abound. A quick Google search in your area will help you find parties and celebrations for associations, networking groups, chambers of commerce, etc. This is the best time to get out and build connections. Similarly, holiday events with friends, family, and acquaintances give you the chance to spread the word that you’re looking.
- Your job-seeking competition thinks this is the slowest time of year. While your competition is taking a break, you have a better chance of standing out.
January can be the toughest and most competitive month for job seekers. The New Year is full of reminders to start fresh, turn over a new leaf, and set new career goals. Beat all of those to the punch by maintaining your job search through the holidays, and you'll be on board by the time others are making their first calls. Don’t let up on your search and if you have capacity to pump up your efforts, now is the perfect time. Good luck!