One of the greatest job-hunting myths during the month of December is that corporate recruiting comes to a screeching halt during the holidays. Actually, this is one of the best times to keep looking. Although most job seekers are distracted by commitments during the holiday season, those distractions can be incorporated into your job search with networking and holiday cheer.
Because December is such a festive time of year, utilize the time to increase your networking contacts. Call or send greeting cards to everyone you know (the holidays are a great excuse to get back in touch with someone). Invite people to join you on LinkedIn. Accept invitations to attend parties and business functions or host your own party or open house. Get into the spirit of giving by increasing your volunteer activities. Focus on developing new relationships and keep yourself visible and active.
“As the days get shorter and colder, it can be tempting to kick back in front of the fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate (or maybe something a little stronger) and forget your worries. But if you're in the middle of a job search, holiday downtime is a luxury you can't afford. Every dinner party, community event or other social function you attend represents an opportunity to network for a new job. Pack your calendar with as many holiday parties as you can handle, but remember — your mission is to make new contacts, not drink eggnog and hang out under the mistletoe” says Andrew Strieber the Senior Producer of CareerCast.com and JobsRated.com.
Most job seekers will slow their search as the year winds down. Keeping your activity level high will increase your momentum and help you maintain a positive perspective. Try to set up appointments with your contacts for the beginning of January so you will have something to look forward to in the new year. By keeping the process moving forward during the month of December, you will be much further along than your competition when 2015 rolls around.
Give of yourself. One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to become involved with others. Volunteer organizations are always in need of helping hands during the holiday season. When you give to the less fortunate it will remind you of all the gifts you have and will help you to be thankful. Another side benefit of volunteering is that these organizations can be a good place to network. Many companies encourage their executives and employees to provide volunteer service so you never know who you will meet. Being outside of the workplace provides a neutral space where a variety of issues can be explored so it won’t feel like you are desperately looking for work. Volunteering demonstrates your spirit of generosity and will make you an attractive candidate to any company looking to hire.
Spend time in reflection. Take time out to evaluate where you are, where you have been, and where you are heading. Reflection and introspection have the benefit of bringing all of the events of your life into focus. It helps to establish real priorities from wishful ones and gives you an opportunity to plant your feet on solid ground.
Keep perspective. Remember if you are looking for work that this is a temporary situation. Make use of all of the resources available to you so that you can approach each day with the energy and vitality necessary to sustain your activities. The time will come when your transition is completed successfully and you will have survived, learned, and emerged stronger from your experience. In the meantime, you will have made some valuable connections and advanced your search for your new job.
Lastly, enjoy the holidays! Spend time with family and friends and those people who have supported you throughout the year. Here’s to finding the job that will have a positive impact on your professional growth and success.
My best to you, Deborah