To some, job searching can wait; to others, it’s a luxury they can’t afford. There are no right or wrong answers; rather it all depends on your personal circumstances and goals. If income is no problem and there are no pressing issues that require you to work right away then taking time off during the holidays could be a great way to recharge your energy and enjoy the season.
At least that sounds like a good idea. However, when you stop your entire search efforts at some point, you will need to start again and that can be one of the greatest challenges in accomplishing your goals through a mindset of stopping and starting, like an on/off switch.
Keeping your momentum moving forward suffers when you stop and start, it’s much easier to continue your search using strategies for different situations. Another challenge with stopping your search through the holidays is facing the reality that landing a job might not be as fast as you expected in the coming year.
Successful job candidates know that taking a break and enjoying the holiday festivities can both happen if you keep a plan in mind throughout the season.
The holidays are special and provide natural ways to stay in touch with people they provide an atmosphere for you to use the number one job search strategy – networking. Social events and parties can be great ways to quickly navigate through job postings and have conversations with people who connect you to the hiring source.
Take for instance the project manager who landed the best lead of his entire search while attending a holiday event and striking up a conversation with a friend who was unaware of his job change. He received a great job lead that happened during the 30-minute intermission. Long story short, his friend ended up making a recommendation for him days later that resulted in an interview.
For those who dislike the notion of mixing job searching with holiday events, try reframing your goals instead of job searching to “people searching.” When you meet and talk with enough people, usually job leads appear.
Here are four ways to prepare for having good social conversations that could help you with future career goals.
• The minute you ask someone what they do, they are going to turn the question around and ask you the same one. Be prepared to talk about what you do rather than your employment status. Talking about your background and interests is more engaging than replying with, “I am in a job search” you can mention that later after rapport is developed.
• Jot down some good open-ended questions that promote conversations. Asking closed-end questions usually lead to short answers that create more of the same.
• Always strive to end conversations on a positive note. It lets the other person feel good about the exchange.
• Following up with others plays a huge role in your job search, and when you overlook the power of follow-up you lose the benefits of your networking efforts. Timing is important and plan to follow up within a few days of your last conversation.
The mindset of “waiting until the holidays are over” to start a job search can be a temptation that’s hard to resist, however those that wait can miss out on great opportunities. Even though you might have wonderful intentions of resuming your search by keeping it alive and well during the holidays, it will give you a head start before the January crowds hit the market.
What are your thoughts about job searching through the holidays?