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December Job Hunt Dilemma

Once Thanksgiving rolls around job seekers express the desire to close up shop until January 2. Every year they ask the same question, “Do people really get hired during the holidays?” Yes, thousands of people get hired during the holidays. I’ve had two clients get offers on December 23. Imagine the peace of mind they felt Christmas Day knowing their search was over and they could relax with family. Last year one of my clients was in the midst of negotiating an offer in the final days of December. She was able to give notice in early January allowing her some time off before starting her new position in February.

Here are some great reasons for not pulling the plug on your job search during the holidays.

Closing up shop during the holidays clears the playing field for your competitors.  Instead, stay in the game and take advantage of the increased exposure you will have with fewer active people in the market.

Many companies have budget dollars that must be spent before December 31, so they are anxious to finalize their hiring decisions rather than risk losing those funds. Other companies have maxed out their 2020 budget but will have funds available January 2. Those hiring managers want to hit the ground running and are often prepared to make offers with start dates after the New Year.

Taking your job search off the table means that you miss out on opportunities to network. Network? During COVID-19? Yes, even though you aren’t gathering in person with friends and family, there are still more networking opportunities in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than at any other time of year. People continue to embrace Zoom and other video conferencing software for business and social events. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to connect.

December is a great time to prepare responses to the inevitable questions, “What do you do?” Or, “How is your job search going?” Craft responses that are upbeat, provide insight into your job target and which are likely to elicit useful information about companies of interest and ideal networking contacts.

Restarting your job search in January is like rolling a stone uphill. It is a lot easier to keep the balls in the air than trying to pick them back up five or six weeks later when all of your leads are cold. And, it is not like those weeks will be worry-free; no doubt you’ll spend an enormous amount of energy beating back panic while your financial situation continues to erode. Instead, buckle down and stay on track. Sure, take a couple of days off at Christmas, Hannukah and before the New Year but make the most of the rest of the month.

During a job search, it is normal to have some down days, anticipate them by creating and posting a list of reasons to be grateful. In his book “Thanks!” Dr. Robert Emmons writes about the impact gratitude had on participants of his study. They were happier, more optimistic and felt better about their lives. When you feel down, write a short note to a friend or colleague letting her know how much you appreciate her advice, support or friendship.  You’ll feel better and that may just shorten your job search.

©2020 Mary Jeanne Vincent.  All rights reserved.