Why the holidays are the best time to look for a job
If the holidays seem like a time to slow down on the job search, don’t be fooled: it’s actually one of the best times of the year to look.
Career experts say the holidays create some benefits that may play to your advantage, including the presence of ongoing company parties and gatherings, the break that other job seekers may take, the general goodwill and generosity among people and possible company expansion for the new year. Sure, some managers may take vacation, but they’re also still networking themselves at different social and professional functions.
“You definitely don’t want to slow down. It’s a great time to meet people and catch the attention of decision makers who are hiring,” says Steve Frederick, an executive career coach outside of Chicago.
Some companies may also be positioning themselves to grow in 2014. You don’t want to wait until January, when their new budgets are often in place, to make yourself known as a strong candidate.
“Since the hiring process takes a lot of time, a January hire can be put into motion in October or November,” Frederick adds.
In addition, the holidays carry a psychological advantage. With good cheer in the air, people are a bit more approachable. Some might also be willing to help you make a connection with their colleagues. You just have to ask.
Frederick says that you shouldn’t be afraid to be bold. Remember in the 1979 movie “Kramer vs. Kramer” how Dustin Hoffman asked for a job aloud at an office Christmas party? He refused to leave without one. That may be a bit over the top, but there’s no reason why you can’t assert yourself when the moment is right.
Remember that every person you meet can help you advance your job search.
“By networking, you can open the ‘hidden job market,’ jobs that have yet to be advertised, or never will be,” Frederick says.
Frederick offers some other tips:
• Attend association parties. These are the best way to meet a wide variety of people, including important decision makers.
• Stock up on business cards and resumes. Be prepared to hand out your business card often.
• Resolve to meet at least ten people at each event.
• Find and thank the party organizers, and be sure to compliment them on the good job they did.
• Plan your own gathering or networking session and invite people you have been meaning to contact.
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