With the holiday season upon us, conventional wisdom says to forget about finding a job at this time of year. Supposedly, this season is the bane of the job seeker, the time when it is impossible to reach anyone, when the conscientious job hunter’s efforts inevitably stall because no one is hiring until January.
All that gloom and doom often stops job hunters dead in their tracks. Savvy job hunters, however, have reaped great benefits from recognizing that much of conventional wisdom is outdated or false information. So ignore the holiday season’s bad reputation, and go full speed ahead with your job search. Here are three reasons why:
1. Decision-makers are always seeking good people—even in December.
First, let’s get clear about how hiring decision-makers operate. If they sat on their hands and waited for Human Resources to post the “opening” announcements in January, then it would make sense to take a vacation from the job search in December. In reality, decision-makers have their antennae up from the moment they know they’ll need someone.
They don’t wait for HR because their own productivity, reputation, and income depend on finding good people. With quality employees, their products sell, their departments run efficiently, and so on. The decision-maker then earns more and gets promoted. Since they are always interested in more money and advancement, they are always on the lookout for talented people, regardless of whether they have “openings.”
Here’s one example of how it worked. Kate, a territory sales manager reported that Carlos, an outstanding salesperson, contacted her looking for work. As luck would have it, she couldn’t use him on her staff. Did she say, “Sorry, there are no openings–get lost”? No way.
Kate picked up the phone, called Jesse (a different territory manager) and said, “We need Carlos; hire him before our competitors get him!” Within a year, Jesse was tops in Carlos’s territory, and Kate earned company recognition for her astute judge of talent.
Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring decision-maker. The new year is coming fast, and changes are in the works. The company is expanding or downsizing (that’s right, downsizing creates opportunities, too: downsizing companies need people who can do more with less), and your current staff can’t meet all the challenges.
As you contemplate the coming year, you look over your staff and notice who is pulling their weight and who isn’t, who needs a promotion so they won’t take their talents elsewhere, and where the gaps are between staff capabilities and upcoming demands. Will you wait for January to decide how to address these gaps, or will you keep your eyes open now for talented people?
2. Hiring decision-makers may be hard to reach but are often less pressured.
True, it can seem more difficult to reach people around the holidays, but your persistence can pay off. As things slow down for the holidays, hiring decision-makers are often less pressured and more receptive to spending time with you.
3. Other job seekers won’t be as active.
Remember that much of your competition listens to conventional wisdom. So while you zero in on your target in the job hunt, others will be moaning and groaning about how the holidays are keeping them from finding work. Let them rest now. In January, you’ll either already be working and earning money at your new job, or you’ll be many steps ahead of the others who took a holiday break. Challenge conventional wisdom!
Consider a CAP (Career Action Planning) Session if you:
> Feel stuck or stalled in your career
> Are worried about a layoff
> Wonder if it’s not just a new job but a new career you need
> Have been looking for work but not getting results.
In this 90-120-minute meeting, we can get to the root of your career problem and come up with a plan to solve it. For more information call me at 314-752-1373 or use the contact form on my website.