The music has already started playing and the decorations are beginning to appear in your neighbors’ front yards—yes, the Holidays have arrived. Although your life is about to get hectic with family obligations, end of the year quotas that need to be met at work and much more, there is one thing you should not put on the back burner; your job search.
There is a common myth in the hiring world that companies do not hire between Thanksgiving and the New Year because too many key decision makers are taking vacations and focused on hitting their year-end numbers. However, that is not the case.
Personally, I have been hired for two of my last three jobs during the Holiday season because I made myself available to take the interview that other candidates wouldn’t. In fact, one hiring manager said, “I was really impressed that you would take an interview so close to Christmas, I could not get other candidates to come in this week. That’s how I knew you were serious about the opportunity.”
The difference between my situation and other job seekers is probably pretty big. I am not married and I do not have kids. So, it was pretty easy to drop everything for an interview. For the rest of you, it may not be as easy—but you should not stop your search just because things get a little hectic. This could be a major opportunity to stand out from other candidates for the job you want!
Now, let’s answer the question I am sure many of you are asking right about now. How the heck do I stay motivated to find a job during the Holiday season? Well, here are a couple of suggestions.
Make a Top 10 List
Everyone loves lists, right? Top 10 this, Top 10 that—lists are everywhere and you know you love to click on them until the very end. Why not create one for yourself?
Your list will be a little different, but you will get to cross off jobs when you are done applying for them. Spend 30 minutes researching potential jobs you want to apply for and save them all in an Excel document (or spreadsheet if you do not have Excel).
From there, set a goal of how many you want to apply for each day. If your goal is to land an interview before Christmas, you should probably set a goal to apply for 10 jobs in 10 days so hiring managers have a chance to review your resume and call you in.
Once your list is all crossed off, in order to stay in the Holiday spirit you absolutely have to add two more bonus jobs to apply for. Why, you ask? It is pretty obvious—there are 12 Days of Christmas, not 10.
Reach Out to the Hiring Manager
Many job seekers seem to think hiring managers and human resource departments take off for half of December, but that cannot be further from the truth. In fact, some are more available at this time of the year than any. According to one hiring manager, “I usually spend the last week or two of the year cleaning up files and doing busy work to get ready for the New Year. I would love to interview and hire during that time.”
It actually makes a lot of sense why this hiring manager prefers to hire at the end of December. Most departments begin their new year by getting all employee benefits and compensation packages in order, so a new hire would roll right into that and not create additional work for them.
Aside from the ease of hiring, availability is the most important thing here. How often does it take days or weeks for someone to respond to a job application you filled out? If hiring managers have more time on their hands, you will likely hear back from them much quicker during the holiday season.
Create a Job Seeking Team
If you are a former athlete, you know what it is like to thrive in a team environment—so why not bring that into your job search?
You likely have more than one friend who cannot stand their job, so team up! Just like going to the gym, a job search buddy can help you stay motivated and accountable in your job search. Many job seeker teams even put a friendly wager (dinner, adult beverage, etc.) on who can land the first call-back, interview and job offer to add a competitive edge to it.
A job search does not have to private. Talking to someone else about what would make you happy and how you can achieve that goal could help you discover an industry or career path you were not even considering. And who knows, your job search buddy may even find a job opportunity you are interested in that you missed!
The Holidays are stressful and hectic, nobody is denying this. But if you think about it, not searching for a job during this time of year is really doing a disservice to yourself.
Hiring managers are actually able to answer their phones, there are fewer people looking for jobs and you likely will not have to take off work to go on an interview thanks to vacation you have saved up.
It seems like a win-win if you ask me. So find a friend, make your job search list—and start applying!