As the 4th quarter descends, and people anticipate getting ready for the start of a new year, they tend to reflect and re-evaluate their life choices. Career is often times at the top of the list for scrutiny. One of the most common questions we are asked this time of year is whether it is realistic to look for a job during the holidays, or if it is just better to wait until January.
There’s a common misconception when it comes to looking for employment at the end of the calendar year. Many opportunity-seekers assume it’s just better to start at the beginning of the New Year, fearing it may just be a waste of time to conduct a job search in November and December.
The truth, however, presents itself on the contrary. According to experts in the recruitment industry, big businesses don’t slow down for the holiday season. In fact, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.6 million job openings in December 2017, compared with 5.2 million openings in January 2018! The hiring rate for December 2018 is predicted to be even more robust.
According to Forbes, the market conditions today are more favorable than ever to find a job. Therefore, there is no such thing as a better or worse time to search for the right job—and successful executives know that.
Mark Anderson, President of ExecuNet, a leading site for executive job search, career path, and leadership advice, published a great article on this topic that is well worth the read; https://www.execunet.com/job-hunting-shouldnt-take-holiday/
Historically, November and December are typically two of the busiest months of the year for us as recruiters. Companies want to ensure that they are blasting out of the gate January 1st with a full team, and managers’ bonuses are often tied to being fully staffed.
If you’re a candidate that’s considering making a change, it definitely pays to become active in your job search now, rather than waiting for January.
Here are some suggestions on ways you can further your job search during the holidays.
Zero in on Potential Contacts
Because of the very nature of the holidays, there is never a better time to reach out to old and new contacts. Make a list of all potential contacts and draft emails to be sent out to those who may be able to help you find the kind of job you are looking for. Invest the time at the front end determining the kind of job you’re looking for, and then do a search and set up alerts on Indeed. Indeed is a terrific website that has changed the landscape for job seekers, by correlating all the jobs posted on the internet in one place. You can do a search and also set up alerts on Indeed so you will be notified of all potential matches for your skill set.
When you see a job posting that interests you, take a realistic look to honestly evaluate if the description fits your long- and short-term career objectives. Does the nature of the job excite you? Is the job description closely matching your skill set and does it position you 1, 3 and 5 years down the road closer to your end goal?
These are all questions you must ask yourself in order to make a positive move. Utilize LinkedIN as well to target potential hiring managers. Follow your targeted companies and engage with leadership on social network platforms. While no CEO is going to take a call from someone they don’t know, social media now allows job seekers the opportunity to communicate with decision makers in ways that were previously never an option. By ‘liking’ and commenting on posts from your targeted companies leadership team as well as connecting with industry specific recruiters, you can gain the attention of exactly the people that you want to take notice of you.
It’s all About the Right Attitude
Think back to the time when your company was looking for new employees. What kind of potential employees stood out more than others? That’s right—the ones that possessed a strong skill set combined with a positive attitude and high enthusiasm.
Having the right attitude can do wonders when you are searching for a new job. It is imperative to keep in mind that while you may not get the job you are currently interviewing for, by being positive and gracious if rejected, you can position yourself to be a front runner for the next opening. The good thing about seeking a new job at an executive level is that you are presumably already equipped with the skills and leadership abilities to tackle unfamiliar situations. Count your strengths, think back to the time you helped your company resolve trying situations and carry that attitude throughout your job search.
Use the Holidays to Connect with People
While looking at job postings and listings is always a great start, be sure to reach out to potential contacts or employers independently as well.
Keep in mind that most executive leadership roles are not advertised.
Take advantage of this special time of year by broadening your network in as many ways as possible. Every single person that has a positive interaction with you can exponentially increase your chances of networking for the job of your dreams. Reach out to old colleagues to wish them the best during the holidays. Send out holidays cards and consider utilizing some of the amazing technology now available to send out emails, being sure to have it appear that each one is customized to your recipients first name.
The holidays can be a wonderful time to expand your network, re-connect with former colleagues, and meet and mingle with new people during various social functions.
Take advantage of the increased social opportunities during the holidays to expand your network of contacts.
Rather than thinking it is a time to put your job search on a back -burner, take advantage of the many opportunities the holidays present and continue your job search in full force.
International Search Consultants is a nationally renowned executive recruiting agency that helps employers find talented candidates for executive level openings. Since 1999, ISC has placed thousands of executive level candidates in roles across the United States in the fields of Financial Services, Sales, and Human Resources .
Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of ISC and can be reached via email at or direct dial at 888-866-7276.
Anna Souers is ISC’s Director of Financial Services and can be reached via email at or direct dial at 800-450-3808.