By Kristen Harris
As we head into the festive season, and before you get distracted with turkey, pumpkin pie and after-meal naps, let’s talk about job hunting during the holidays. I’d like to dispel a couple of common myths that hold people back in their job search, especially during the holidays.
Myth #1: Nobody Hires in December. Or November and January, so you might as well take some time off, enjoy the festivities, and get back to looking for a job after the New Year. Au contraire! Actually quite a few jobs are filled in November and December. The business world does not shut down for two or three months, and neither should you. Companies have open positions to fill—people leave and need to be replaced, and other roles haven’t been filled yet with the right candidate (maybe it’s you). Often departments or clients have budget dollars that need to be spent by the end of the year, generating new projects that need people to complete them. Businesses are also wrapping up annual planning, with new positions identified to support initiatives for the next year.
Myth #2: Everyone’s on Vacation Anyway. So you might as well be too, right? Wrong. No one is on vacation for two entire months (if they are, then I’m jealous). It’s true that more people are out around the holidays for several days or a week at a time, and when one person gets back another seems to leave. So it might be more difficult to coordinate meetings, but most people are actually working the majority of the days in November and December. Even better, depending on the industry, these two months might be a slower time for them, which means they can get to some of those things they were planning to do. Like hire someone, meet candidates for future roles, or wrap up a large project that’s been lingering.
Myth #3: Just Get Started (Again) in January. Everybody else is waiting until January, but companies need to hire people now. Which means there are fewer candidates and less competition for the jobs that are open during November and December. Since so many people put their job search on hold or really slack off during the holidays, when you do apply you’re going up against fewer other candidates. And since you’re awesome, you have a much better chance of getting the job. Plus, if you slack off, you’ll lose a lot of momentum. Think about it like exercise—if you work out every day then suddenly decide to take two months off, it’s much harder to get back into the routine again. But if you keep exercising day in and day out, you’ll be in better shape at the end of those two months.
So don’t let yourself slip into a holiday coma that starts with the over-abundance of Halloween candy, and has you waking up on January 1 with no progress made on your job search. Keep moving forward, stay active, even during the holidays and you’ll be much further ahead when January does roll around.