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. This season when we hope for clarity for the upcoming year. What we do know is that there are still huge numbers of open jobs internationally.
Career coaches and recruiters always 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 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.
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. 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 a 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.
#3 NEXT YEAR’S PLAN IS MADE IN JANUARY
Frequently the hiring plan and budget approval for the next financial year are 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. One year a 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. Every year organisations servicing home-bound and isolated people have a high demand for volunteers to deliver food parcels and check-in on the elderly. Many countries are offering “call a senior” to support these groups. LinkedIn also post volunteer roles.
#6 SEASONAL POSITIONS ARE ALREADY FILLED
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, and hospitality and could both be full and part-time. During COVID many sectors are struggled to fill openings, especially the supply chain as more people are buying their seasonal presents and goods online. 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 permanent role if it’s something that could appear long-term.
#7 PITCH AT A PARTY
The holiday season is upon us and although parties have been scaled back there are still some brave souls generous enough to host Christmas or New Year Celebrations. The office party is perhaps scaled down, greener, and more activity-focused. Private parties may be reduced because of the energy and economic crisis.
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 or your LinkedIn QR code at the ready. Business cards are increasingly passé. Avoid being brash and pushy. 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 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 handwritten 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. Remember to check-in not check on your contacts. Everyone has something going on at the moment.
# 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 it somewhere you can see it. Make sure you can achieve that goal and follow through.
Take our free Executive Presence Assessment to boost your holiday job search .