With shopping, vacations and the general desire to reduce stress during the holidays, December is a tempting time to take a break from the job search. After all, nobody’s hiring during the holidays—right?
Wrong. At year end, lots of companies are finalizing their budgeting for the following calendar year, spending what's left this year for fear of losing it, and making hiring decisions accordingly. And, with some of your competition taking it easy, there may be no better time to snag the perfect gift for yourself: a new position. Here's how:
1. Take Advantage of the Holiday Cheer
We all know that most jobs don’t even make it to the job boards—they are either filled internally or through word of mouth recommendations. Holidays give you a great excuse to check in with your network and find out what might be available. Get your foot in the door with an informational interview, especially at a time when everyone is in the holiday spirit.
2. Holiday Cards are not Just for Loved Ones
There's more to the job search than submitting your resume for every opening you find. It’s about maintaining your contacts and keeping your name top of mind with those involved in the hiring process. So when you are mailing those holiday cards out, take the time to send some holiday well-wishes to those in your professional network.
3. Companies Make New Year's Resolutions Too
Everyone starts out with high hopes for the coming year, and every company will want to start off 2014 with a bang. In order to get the ball rolling, they will want to hire in December and spend the remainder of their 2013 budget in the process. The end of the year is the perfect time to spend what’s left—why shouldn’t that extra budget item be you?
4. Parties are Networking Opportunities
If all else fails, take advantage of holiday gatherings involving friends and/or family. You never know who will be there, and it may open up some opportunities for you to make a good impression. Make sure to have a good time, share your job search story without coming across as desperate or pushy, and try to meet as many new people as possible while solidifying your existing relationships. And whatever you do, don’t drink too much or ruin someone else's experience with a sob story.