Should You Continue a Job Hunt During the Holiday Season?
Between shopping, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends, you may be tempted to put your job search on hold during the holiday season. Do NOT do it! Maintaining momentum throughout the holiday season will significantly benefit your ongoing job search.
With a well-developed strategy, you can maximize the unique networking opportunities that happen ONLY during the holiday season. Holiday gatherings and events create spectacular opportunities to meet new contacts and grow your professional network.
Although it is not polite to attend holiday parties with the sole intention of advancing your job search, it IS appropriate to participate in career-focused conversations, introduce yourself, and mention that you are in the market for a new job. Plus, holiday events are a fantastic place to put your elevator speech to good use!
Whether you attend strategic business networking events or family social functions, you should share your career intentions with trusted colleagues, family, and friends. And ALWAYS be prepared to practice your networking skills and elevator speech.
Many job seekers pause their job search during the final two months of the year. During the holiday season, fewer candidates are applying for jobs on platforms like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed – decreasing the size of the applicant pool. Ultimately, this increases an active job seeker’s chances of being seen by employers and being contacted for an interview.
Once the new year begins, the competition increases, as many job seekers will adopt the “New Year, New Job” mentality. Continuing the job search momentum during the last two months of the year will ensure that you start ahead of the competition.
Some employers actually INCREASE their hiring during the last quarter of the year. Employers often need to fill temporary seasonal positions in order to manage the busy holiday traffic. Anticipating these increases in traffic and hoping to start the holiday season with a full team, employers tend to process job applications and make hiring decisions more quickly than other times of the year.
Many of these jobs last through Valentine’s Day or even Mother’s Day, and often the temporary seasonal jobs become permanent jobs.
Most employers prepare and approve the next year’s budget prior to the start of the new year. Employers have limited funds available to make new hires, so if you are offered a job during the last two months of the year, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary because there are more funds available in the new budget.
Negotiating a higher salary from the start is the BEST way to ensure you receive the compensation and future raises you deserve. It is often much more challenging to negotiate a significant compensation increase (greater than 3% to 6% per year) once you start working, so maximize your initial starting salary and benefits package when you have the opportunity. There is no better time than the end of the year!
In most industries, big organizational initiatives and projects typically do not start during the holiday season. So, even if you are hired during the last two months of the year, your new employer may be more flexible with your start date. You can easily negotiate a start date after the new year, allowing you plenty of time to enjoy the holidays and quality time with loved ones starting your new position.
Perhaps, you have some time off from your current job during the holiday season. Take advantage of the extra time while you have it! Use this critical time to fine-tune your resume and cover letter, practice your networking elevator speech, stay informed about new job postings, apply for open jobs, and keep networking.
Even a short, three-day break from the job hunt process can help you refresh and rejuvenate – allowing you to return to the job search invigorated and excited to tackle the next opportunity.
Need help with your job search? Our career coaches can help you identify the best job search methods for your unique goals and situation. Learn more about our job search coaching services.