‘Tis the Season!

Tips for making the most of the Job-Search during the Holiday Season.

by Marie Haraburda, Global Career Coach

With December being a festive* month: Should job-seekers take a break from the job search?

It’s a myth that employers stop recruiting in December. Many recruiters have vacancies to fill before the end of the year to avert budget cuts. So while some job seekers lighten up on the search, this opens up more opportunities for those who continue looking. Whether seekers lighten up the search or forge ahead is up to each person. Here are some ways for seekers to include job search activities into their enjoyment of the holidays.

Winter Wonderland! Explore the new area.

Whether the job seeker landed in a snowy climate or warmer one, we recommend that they see what’s out there. Seekers might check the community calendar for happenings in December to get out in the community. According to Forbes (Oct 2017), about 80% of jobs are not posted. Networking and building relationships are essential in today’s job market. A job seeker might also:

  • Visit the local library. Get a library card. Introduce themselves. Join a book club. Library staffers have a wealth of information, including names of contacts that work at “Dream Company.” They might tell the job seeker who is hiring. What is happening at the Chamber of Commerce this month? Perhaps another opportunity for the job seeker to attend an event and meet new people?
  • Volunteer at the local community center or soup kitchen. Helping the less fortunate warms the soul. And they’ll meet new people.
  • Spend some time at the local coffee shop with a laptop. Talk to others.
  • Take advantage of holiday get-togethers within their neighborhood, community and spouse’s work gatherings to meet others and build a network. Ask for business cards to follow up for coffee or lunch. Connect with new contacts on LinkedIn for additional follow up or potential others they might know for introductions.

Get Their Jingle On! Have fun with Networking.

Job seekers might invite the new neighbors over for cookies and cocoa. Make it a house warming. Ask invitees to bring their favorite festive dish to the party, which makes for great ice-breaker conversation. Food brings people together.

  • Mingle. Seekers might stay after the high school musical, grab a cocoa and engage with others.
  • Make that phone call. December is the perfect time for seekers to reach out to connections and spread the cheer while staying on their radar. They can send a holiday greeting card or email.
  • Set up informational interviews. Many workers take vacations, meaning fewer work meetings and more time for outside get-togethers, including coffee. Many people are in a good, “charitable” mood during the holidays and might welcome the chance to help others. So, job seekers are encouraged to set up time for coffee and conversation.

Deck the Halls! Celebrate traditions.

Decorating is a common holiday tradition. It’s December and job seekers are in the middle of a move. They might pack the holiday items LAST at the old location so they can easily find them at the NEW one. Or seekers might have already moved and are busy unpacking. It’s a chore to find and set up the holiday decorations. But they will feel better if they do! They might consider buying a new item to create a fresh ambiance in the new home.

  • Plan ahead. Seekers are encouraged to plan and manage their time by setting specific days and hours to devote to the job search, even if just a few hours each week. Also they might plan ahead for a few hours of alone time to read a good book or get a massage. When they feel organized, they are less likely to stress out.
  • Stay positive. Holidays are emotional times. Seekers can strive to make the holiday season wonderful for the entire family. They can warm up the new house and turn it into their new home. They might bake and decorate cookies together. Light the menorah. Sing holiday songs. Set up the tree. Staying cheerful will make the job seeker a more desirable job candidate. Active job seekers will likely ring in the New Year with a positive attitude! And hopefully a new opportunity!

*December Festivities:

Hanukkah (Festival of Lights): Sunday, December 2, 2018, through Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas(Birth of Christ): Monday, December 24, 2018, through Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Kwanzaa(First Fruits): Wednesday, December 26, 2018, through Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy Hanukkah!                Merry Christmas!                Joyous Kwanzaa!                Happy New Year!