Planning to wind down your job hunt over Christmas? Find out why it may not be such a good idea to stop and how you can do to keep momentum up. However, the most important thing to remember is to use your time and focus your efforts on reaping the highest benefit.
For some, taking a well-deserved break will be just what’s needed to put you in the right frame of mind to hit the job search process again in the New Year. For others who prefer to keep going, the downtime after the frenzy of Christmas Day has passed is perfect to re-assess your strategy and put things in motion for January.
Here are five reasons why I believe you should keep up your job hunt in the run-up to Christmas if you want to.
1) There’s less competition
Many candidates who are in between jobs stop searching for new positions over the holidays, and those with jobs who are thinking about making a change tend to wait until the New Year to take advantage of holiday leave and bonus pay-outs.
So, there’s less competition right now for any companies who are on the lookout for new hires.
2) It’s easier to catch people
Hiring managers are easier to reach they might not be travelling as much as usual as the holidays approach. It’s more likely that they are finishing up on projects, catching up on administration before the holidays, meeting with colleagues and attending holiday gatherings.
And while some may take some time off between Christmas and the New Year, plenty will still be at work or checking emails at home, so you could still catch them if you’re making contact. (Plus, as many businesses and job seekers do take time off, they’ll have fewer emails to answer.)
3) People are happier
Take advantage of the holiday spirit. Everyone seems a little happier and friendlier during this time of year, so use that to your advantage when scheduling networking meetings for the New Year.
Focus on networking at this time of year too, as you may find that people are more willing to meet as work demands slow down, helping turn short discussions into long-term opportunities. Remember that all the Christmas parties will give you the opportunity to meet new people and expand your professional network. So, keep an open mind (and ears) when attending events.
4) Get a head start on the New Year
Get a jump-start in January by leveraging your professional network so they understand exactly what you have to offer. Many companies review their staffing needs in January so be well prepared and create the opportunities for the right people to get to know you.
5) Avoid the January panic
You can avoid the usual January panic if you keep going and maintain momentum during the holiday season. The New Year is always full of reminders to start afresh, to think about a ‘new career in the New Year’, turn over a new leaf and set new career goals. If you keep up your job search efforts through the holiday period, and you’ll be ahead of the game by the time others are making their first calls.
Here are five things you can do over Christmas to keep up momentum on your job hunt.
1) Look for opportunities
Look out for freelance work, volunteer at your favourite Not for Profit, or create new projects that can help to boost your portfolio of work AND skills for the new year.
2) Connect with other job seekers
Contact other job seekers and set up an accountability group to keep you motivated. Meet Up is a good place to start when looking for a like-minded group of professionals near you.
3) Update your LinkedIn profile
Take the time to revamp your LinkedIn profile by making sure that you craft your summary so that it projects you in your desired direction. Use keywords that will pop up in a LinkedIn search by recruiters or potential hiring managers.
Many of my clients found that once they optimised their LinkedIn profiles for search, they were more visible, and they received more approaches from head-hunters. Listen to this Podcast on the top three Tips for a standout LinkedIn profile and read seven simple rules for a perfect LinkedIn profile.
4) Learn something new
There are many digital learning platforms such as Udemy and Lynda or search for a learning provider that offers online courses that you can take over the holiday period.
Whether it’s a course on presentation skills, leadership skills, communication skills, finding your life’s purpose, resume or interview skills, photography, writing, Microsoft Office applications, web design, etc., these online courses open a world of possibilities for you. If nothing else, it will be interesting to learn something new!
5) Read career books
Boost your job search knowledge by reading career transition books such as Navigating Career Crossroads so that you are well prepared to market yourself effectively when 2016 arrives.
So, there is plenty you can do in the lead up to the holiday period and during the holidays if you wish to keep the momentum going in your job search. We look forward to hearing what your plans are and what is working for you.
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