Why you shouldn’t stop your job hunt at Christmas

Planning to wind down your job hunt over Christmas? Find out why it may not be such a good idea to stop, and learn six things you can do to keep momentum up.

Career management coach and author of Amazon bestseller Navigating Career Crossroads Jane Jackson reveals six good reasons why you should continue your job hunt over the festive season, and what you can do to get a head start on other job seekers in January.

Hiring is still happening!

Christmas is just around the corner, and many of my clients who are looking for a new job ask me: “Should I stop looking for a job during this period or should I keep looking?”

Of course Christmas and the holiday period is a wonderful time to take a break, relax and enjoy your family and friends, and hiring traditionally slows down at this time of year. However, the hiring process has not completely ground to a halt. Hiring is still happening!

Companies are looking to fill not just seasonal positions, but for some companies the hiring budgets will reset before January and they will already be thinking about ramping things up in the New Year.

Get a head start on other job seekers

If you want, you can be completely justified in deciding to take break from your job hunt over the festive period. But, equally, if you want to you can keep the momentum going and get a head start on other job seekers in January.

The most important thing to remember is to use your time and focus your efforts on reaping the highest benefit.

For some, taking a well-deserved break will be just what’s needed to put you in the right frame of mind to hit the job search process again in the New Year. For others who prefer to keep going, the down time after the frenzy of Christmas Day has passed is perfect to re-assess your strategy and put things in motion for January.

Six reasons why you should keep up your job hunt

Here are six reasons why I believe you should keep up your job hunt in the run up to Christmas, if you want to.

1) Look for opportunities

Look out for freelance work online on websites like Jobstoday and similar, where you can find job openings for a wide range of different jobs. You can volunteer at your favourite Not For Profit, or create new projects that can help to boost your portfolio of work AND skills for the new year.

2) There’s less competition

Many candidates who are in between jobs stop searching for new positions over the holidays, and those with jobs who are thinking about making a change tend to wait until the New Year to take advantage of holiday leave and bonus payouts.

So there’s less competition right now for any companies who are on the lookout for new hires.

3) It’s easier to catch people

Hiring managers are easier to reach they might not be travelling as much as usual as the holidays approach. It’s more likely that they are finishing up on projects, catching up on administration before the holidays, meeting with colleagues and attending holiday gatherings.

And while some may take some time off between Christmas and the New Year, plenty will still be in work, or checking emails at home, so you could still catch them if you’re making contact. (Plus as many businesses and job seekers do take time off, they’ll have fewer emails to answer.)

4) People are happier

Take advantage of the holiday spirit. Everyone seems a little happier and friendlier during this time of year, so use that to your advantage when scheduling networking meetings for the New Year.

Focus on the networking at this time of year too, as you may find that people are more willing to meet as work demands slow down, helping turn short discussions into long-term opportunities. Remember that all the Christmas parties will give you the opportunity to meet new people and expand your professional network. So keep an open mind (and ears) when attending events.

5) Get a head start on the New Year

Get a jump-start on January by leveraging your professional network so they understand exactly what you have to offer. Many companies review their staffing needs in January so be well prepared and create the opportunities for the right people to get to know you.

6) Avoid the January panic

You can avoid the usual January panic if you keep going and maintain momentum during the holiday season. The New Year is always full of reminders to start afresh, to think about a ‘new career in the New Year’, turn over a new leaf and set new career goals. If you keep up your job search efforts through the holiday period, and you’ll be ahead of the game by the time others are making their first calls.

Five things you can do over Christmas to find a job

Here are five things you can do over Christmas to keep up momentum on your job hunt.

1) Look for opportunities

Look out for freelance work, volunteer at your favourite Not For Profit, or create new projects that can help to boost your portfolio of work AND skills for the new year.

2) Connect with other job seekers

Make contact with other job seekers and set up an accountability group to keep you motivated. Meet Up is a good place to start when looking for a like-minded group of professionals near you.

3) Update your LinkedIn profile

Take the time to revamp your LinkedIn profile by making sure that you craft your summary so that it projects you into your desired direction. Use key words that will pop up in a LinkedIn search by recruiters or potential hiring managers.

Many of my clients found that once they optimised their LinkedIn profiles for search they were more visible and they received more approaches from head-hunters. Listen to this Podcast on the top three Tips for a stand out LinkedIn profile and read seven simple rules for a perfect LinkedIn profile.

4) Learn something new

There are many digital learning platforms such as Udemy and Lynda, or search for a learning provider that offers online courses that you can take over the holiday period.

Whether it’s a course on presentation skills, leadership skills, communication skills, finding your life’s purpose, resume or interview skills, photography, writing, Microsoft Office applications, web design, etc., these online courses open up a world of possibilities for you. If nothing else, it will be interesting to learn something new!

5) Read career books

Boost your job search knowledge by reading career transition books such as Navigating Career Crossroads so that you are well prepared to market yourself effectively when 2016 arrives.

So there is plenty you can do in the lead up to the holiday period and also during the holidays if you wish to keep the momentum going in your job search. The choice is yours. I look forward to hearing what your plans are and also what is working for you.

Read more job hunting advice over Christmas

If you want to get a head start on your new year job hunt, catch up on these articles over the Christmas break:

Jane Jackson is a career management coach and author of Amazon bestseller Navigating Career Crossroads. Her book takes you through all the essential steps to not only survive but THRIVE when changing direction.