Could it be possible that the holiday season is a good time to be job hunting? Some experts think so.
Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half International, told FoxBusiness.com, “Yes, some of the hiring slows down, but there is a fair amount of hiring now and through the end of the year.”
Hiring is especially good this time of year because most people don’t actively job hunt from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. As one expert points out in the article, “Hiring managers typically reduce the number of ads, figuring no one is looking, and recruiters assume their clients don’t need help.”
McDonald points out that job hunting this time of year isn’t for the casual looker. You’re perceived as being a serious candidate. He says this is because hiring managers looking during the holidays are more likely to be serious. After all, who wants to waste people’s time during the holiday season?
Another advantage for job seekers this time of year is recruiters just aren’t that busy. They need to stay busy (or at least look busy). Even if you’re not actively job seeking, networking with a recruiter isn’t a bad idea if you want to set the groundwork for future career changes.
McDonald also says your job hunt may be best solved within your own company. He advises, “A simple conversation with your boss about your career path can give you a good sense of your future at the company. Networking outside of the office, which is typically easier during the holidays because it’s a festive time of year, is also a must if you want to be hired. Don’t turn down the invitations. If something is happening, go. You never know who you are going to meet.”
Alison Doyle, the job searching expert at About.com, concurs. “Contrary to popular opinion, this is a good time of year to find a job. Employers don’t stop hiring just because it’s the holidays. In addition, the holiday season is a perfect time of year to network your way to a new job,” she writes.
Doyle quotes an executive who says, “For many of us, the holiday season is a time to sit back and relax, to take a break from business, to focus our attention on friends and family. For businesses, the needs that drive hiring throughout the year don’t change just because the paid holidays are bunched up on the last pages of the calendar.”
Doyle, in another article, says, “View every holiday event you attend as a networking opportunity and accept all the invitations you receive, both personal and professional. You never know who may be able to help. Friends and family, as well as business acquaintances, are typically more than happy to assist.”
She adds an important caveat: don’t get drunk. “You don’t want to be remembered as the guest who had one too many drinks,” she says. If you’re going to network at an event — either personal or professional — you have made it a non-social event. Don’t think you can be serious at the beginning and then loosen up.
Unfortunately, in this day of 24/7 social media, any indiscretions can easily find their way online. Resist the urge to overindulge, because it could quickly sink your career advancement. (It’s good advice regardless of whether or not you’re actively job seeking.)
Finally, she offers one last good piece of advice. After you network with someone this time of year, send a holiday card as a note of thanks. It’s a lot nicer than a simple email and maintains the festive feelings of the season.