Busting holiday season job search myths

The holiday period can provide some marked advantages for the focused and pro-active job seeker. You  just need to forget those holiday season job search myths.

Many job seekers put their job search on hold or slow it down during the holiday season. However, career coaches and recruiters claim they can be just as busy in the run up to the holidays and into January.  One recruitment myth is that hiring stops during the holiday season, but for many HR and hiring managers, it’s business as usual. Job seekers who stay active during holiday season  for job search, find that they  may have a greater chance  of securing a job, as their fellow job seekers (competitors) buy into this myth and reduce their efforts.

This year with COVID restrictions it’s even more important to stay focused.

Here are some of those job search myths

#1  EVERYONE IS OFF

No they are not!

As we live in increasingly diverse communities we should be aware of cultures and countries which follow other holidays and may be working completely normally. Some employees with different cultural backgrounds do not observe Christmas, or prefer to take time off at alternative times of the year. Increasingly employees also ask to take time off at non-peak times when it’s easier and cheaper to travel, especially those without children. This year people are also being discouraged from travelling and may postpone their vacations. So it’s no longer an across the board assumption that everyone will be off work.

#2 BUDGETS ARE SPENT

Nope not always!

Many companies may find they have budget to use up before the year-end and redouble their efforts to hire people in the last months of the financial year to avoid losing their financial allocation, or getting their budgets cut next year. Some organisations want hiring decisions made so people can start promptly in the New Year.

Read: 4 reasons to job search during the holiday season

#3 NEXT YEAR’S PLAN IS MADE IN JANUARY

Wrong again.

Frequently the hiring plan and budget approval for the next financial year is established in Q4 of the current year. Jacqui Poindexter, Master Executive Resume writer suggests:

“Submitting your resume during this time will certainly gain you better pole position to replace those who may be at the end of their race. Why wait until after the first of the year, when management is making those decisions now?”

#4 NO ONE WILL CONTACT ME

Well they might!

A number of people prefer to work around the holidays because it can be a quieter time to catch up on work. Many potential candidates are out of the office if they are employed and are easier to reach by phone or email.

If you are an active job seeker Dorothy Dalton, Executive Search Consultant and Career Coach says:

 “Stay connected. Make sure you check your mail and voice messages regularly even if you do enter into the Christmas spirit. I have been asked by hiring managers to contact candidates during this period. Last year one candidate left our call to take the mince pies out of the oven. Head hunters are understanding at this time of the year. “

#5 IT’S TOO LATE TO VOLUNTEER

No it isn’t.

Charities are always looking for volunteers during this busy time, regardless of how much experience you have. Volunteering can provide excellent networking opportunities, even in unskilled work. People get sick and requirements change. It’s great to add your experiences to your resume if you are unemployed. This year with so many home-bound and isolated people there is a high demand for volunteers to deliver food parcels and check in on the elderly.

#6 SEASONAL POSITIONS ARE ALREADY FILLED

Not necessarily!

An increasing number of organizations have hiring spikes for the seasonal period. Normally these roles would be in call centers, customer service, logistics, events, retail, hospitality and could  both be full and part-time. In 2020 it seems that it’s logistics and supply chain which are seeing an uptick, as more people are buying their seasonal presents and goods on line.  It’s always worth checking out even at the last-minute. Your holiday season job search can also be used from shifting from a temp to perm role if it’s something that could appear long term.

#7 I CAN’T PITCH AT A PARTY

Correct. Finally.

You will probably not be going to many big parties this year as they are banned in most geographies.  But you may get invited to small group socially distanced gatherings. You are right you can’t do a hard pitch at a party, but there is no reason why you can’t have your soft pitch ready or make a gentle networking arrangement . Make sure your “why” is foremost in your mind and business cards in your clutch bag. Avoid being brash and pushy. If there are usually a huge number of events in the holiday calendar, then this year there may only be a few. Some events are moving on line. Use these opportunities wisely  to network with empathy and appropriate to the situation.

Susan P Joyce, Jobhunt Online Job Expert amplifies:

“When or if you’re asked, mention your interest in finding a new job, saying specifically what kind of work you want and name two or three target employers or target industries.”

#8 NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR FROM ME

Of course they do!

That is your Chief Doubting Officer speaking. Clear your head of negative thinking.  What better time to keep in touch with your network than the holiday season.  Send out a secular card with Season’s or New Year greetings. Add a business card if it’s an old school card sent my snail mail which should include your LinkedIn url. This serves to differentiate you from the rest of the crowd and personalises the relationship.  A gracious hand written card with a sincere message can make a big difference.

Whatever you do don’t say “Merry Christmas can you help get me get a job!”  to someone you haven’t seen for years.

# 9  I CAN’T STAY FOCUSED  – USE THE KISS PLEDGE FORMAT

Wrong. You can.

With the normal seasonal round of parties, family meals and cocktails it can be hard to stay focused. This year it should be easier with less stress. Use the KISS Pledge formula (it has nothing to do with mistletoe) Keep It Super Simple, a good way of committing to doing one thing every day to ensure that your holiday season job search stays on track. It could be sending out a daily LinkedIn update, looking for new opportunities or reaching out to networking  contacts. Write out your daily goal on a KISS Pledge note and stick somewhere you can see it. Make sure you can achieve that goal and follow through.

kiss-pledge-2

Good luck!

Take our free Executive Presence Assessment to find out what your personal development needs are for next year and boost your holiday job search .

Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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8th March 2021  IWD "How to create a career and networking strategy for career success”   Highquest Partners  - Corporate event

 

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