By Barbara Gough CPTC, CPRW
Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash
It may surprise you, but job hunting during the holidays can be extremely successful. Many people stop their job search once the holiday season comes around. For those who keep looking, that’s an immediate “positive.” You have less competition!
Remember that many companies want to spend their annual budgets prior to year-end. This can work to your advantage. Companies who are hiring often want to close the deal prior to December 31st. It’s good time to consider temporary positions as well, which may lead to something permanent in the new year.
Have a dream company you want to work for? Reach out to people who work there via LinkedIn and ask if you can meet or talk with them. Tell them you have always admired the company and want to learn more about it. Be daring, you have nothing to lose.
Don’t like the networking aspect of looking for a job? Now you have a fun reason to connect. It’s a great time to reach out to anyone you’ve met or spoken with during your job search. Call or email and wish them a Happy Holiday. Part of finding your next job is staying connected to people. This is the perfect opportunity. That job you didn’t get –- but you had some great interviews –- call or email your contacts and keep the connections going.
Have friends you haven’t spoken with in a long time? Feeling guilty that you haven’t reached out in two, five or ten years? Now is a great time. Consider something like “We haven’t connected in a while. I want to wish you a Happy Holiday and hope we can catch up when this busy season is over.” Now you’ve opened the door for your next phone call or email in the New Year. Remember that everyone is a connection when you are looking for a job.
If someone doesn’t respond to you, the good news is that you have already started the process for next year. Keep track of everyone you reach out to. A simple excel spreadsheet or Google document can track your emails and phone calls. You can try again in the new year.
Most important, when someone doesn’t respond to your email/call, it means exactly that and nothing else. They didn’t respond --- period. It doesn’t mean that they are not interested, that they think you’re not qualified or that they have no interest in speaking with you. When someone doesn’t respond to us we have no idea why. Maybe they are busy, maybe they missed your email, maybe they are on vacation, or maybe they are dealing with a family emergency. As Lairs Hamilton, the famous surfer said, “Make sure that your worst enemy is not between your ears.”
People are willing to help us more than we realize. Yet, most of us have a hard time asking for help. Many work schedules slow down during the holiday season. Often people are available to discuss career plans or have that informational interview you’d been hoping to secure. For those who are simply too busy, you’d be surprised how willing they are to schedule something for next year, which is right around the corner!
It can be stressful looking for a job, so make sure that you allow yourself to enjoy the holidays. As I have written in past blogs, work hard on your job search, but when you are done for the day, relax. Once you’re back at work you will probably miss this extra time.
During the pandemic we can all reach out, send good wishes and expand the ways that we help others. Put a holiday spin on your job search and have some fun with it. Make it an enjoyable way to reach out and connect. Everyone likes to receive good wishes!
Barbara Gough is a Career Consultant for Lee Hecht Harrison. She also manages her own career and executive coaching firm. Prior to becoming a Career Coach she ran a business development consulting firm and previously founded Global Media, a technology advertising representative firm which was sold to a Neilsen Company.
Barbara Gough CCTC, CPRW
Career & Executive Coach