Every year, the question arises – “Does it make sense for job-seekers to continue their search in December especially during the holiday weeks?” – and my answer is a resounding yes!
While it’s tempting to postpone any job search activities, December can be a great opportunity to informally connect and meet people.
I speak from personal experience. Twice in my career I interviewed and received offers in December. In one case, through networking, I interviewed for a position, was accepted, and actually started the day after Christmas. In another December example, I became aware of an open position – I applied not thinking I would hear. But I did! They asked if I could interview between Christmas and New Year’s. I was offered the position shortly after the holidays. The interviews were more relaxed and there was time for in-depth conversation.
Here are several points to consider:
Informal Networking: With all kinds of social gatherings and volunteer opportunities during December, connecting can happen in the most unexpected ways.
During a holiday gathering, I met and talked with a couple. We enjoyed sharing our interests and family life. At some point, the conversation turned to discussing what we loved to do. It turns out “Joe” was in a job search for a Director’s position for a non-profit agency. He wasn’t having much success and in truth, he was discouraged. I let him know about a networking group that I thought might be helpful. He went the following week. He received lots of ideas and support on how to manage his search, and took advantage of all the interview practice sessions. Eventually, through pro-active networking, he received a job offer in his field. He fully credited the help he received as a factor in getting this position. I often think how unexpected a casual conversation at a holiday party started the journey to his new job!
Hiring Does Happen in December: As a former HR Business Partner, I can attest that hiring does happen in December. While it may not be at the same level as throughout the year, it’s a great way to have time to talk to people. Managers may have more time to discuss the position, and you may even reach a senior leader who normally wouldn’t be available. I once reached out to a recruiter about a position a few days before New Year’s and wound up talking to the Director of the group! Everyone else was on vacation! So definitely respond and follow-up.
A Group Gathering & Review: This is a great time to gather a few people who may also be in a job search. Meet with them for an informal review, practice and assessment. Are there interview questions that stump you? Are you powerfully presenting your skills/knowledge in all your communications? How is your presence on social media? Help each other celebrate successes, generate ideas, and create goals for 2018. Make it a pot-luck and mix supportive company with great food!
So if you’d like, take some time to socialize, relax, volunteer or even learn a new skill during the holiday season. Just keep that job search energy and flow going!
Enjoy the holidays but also gain the support to continue your progress.