“Jingle Bell Rock” is playing on every station. Your neighborhood is decorated with plastic snowmen and dazzling lights. And, talk of vacation, gift giving and celebration is everywhere you turn.
“‘Tis the season to be jolly.” Perhaps. BUT, it might not feel so jolly if you are trying to find a new job.
For job seekers, the end of the year also screams panic: fewer job postings, slower/rescheduled/cancelled interview processes, and depleted hiring budgets. Too many candidates throw in the towel once Thanksgiving hits, assuming that hiring comes to a halt until after the New Year. While it’s traditionally not the best time to land a new job – don’t let that fool you. The holiday season is actually a natural and ideal time to “up” your job searching efforts!
Here’s how to make it work for you:
Invited? Say Yes!: Holiday time is full of partying and celebrations. Sometimes job seekers shy away from these events, feeling unsure or unsettled about their current situations. I challenge you to do the opposite! Say YES to every invitation. There is no better excuse to get out there and connect, reconnect and meet new people in a positive, informal and fun setting! Before you head out, practice a few ways to organically and positively answer the “What’s new?”, “What do you do?” and “What are you looking for?” questions so you don’t feel defensive or put on the spot. But, as it comes up, don’t be afraid to let people know that you are looking, and what you’re looking for. Not only will some offer to help…you never know who you might meet that could lead you to your next opportunity!
Lend-A-Hand: Especially during the holiday season, there are oodles of ways to give back to your community. But, how does volunteering actually help your job search, you ask? In 2013, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) released its “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment” report. It found that “Volunteers have a 27% higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work, than non-volunteers.” What are you waiting for?
Make A Date: In the spirit of reconnecting and catching up, are there people in your network that you’d like to meet for coffee or a drink? Maybe those who haven’t had time in the past? While the holiday season can be super busy, some people actually have a little extra time on their hands – especially if this is a slow time at the office, or if they are trying to use up vacation days before the end of the year. Reach out and see if you can get a date on the calendar for some face-time. You might find that your contacts are more open to meeting and helping during this time of year.
The Big Family Dinner: This is the one you might be dreading the most. But, maybe this is a good time to come in with a new approach. Although your family might be dysfunctional (and you are already planning your early exit strategy), they probably love you and want to help you be successful at the same time. Your 99 year-old grandma might not have the best advice on this topic, but what about that cousin you haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving? A nice chat over good food and a little wine might turn into your best gift of the year!
Frankly Speaking: This time of year is all about being with friends and family, reconnecting with those you haven’t seen in a while, helping one another, reflecting on the months prior, and sharing plans for the New Year. Just because companies seem to be wrapping up– you don’t have to! Stay ahead of the game. There is plenty of opportunity to keep your search alive and going strong into the coming year.
Lisa Frank is the CEO of LBF Recruitment Strategies, an executive search & career coaching firm. As a recruiter, connector and coach she offers a relatable and “Frank” approach to all aspects of life. Through her blog, Frankly Speaking, Lisa shares her insights, guidance and outrageous (but true) stories about career and life topics with plenty of humor, humanness and candor. Follow Lisa on LinkedIn or Twitter (@LisaBFrank) or visit www.LBFStrategies.com.