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Do you tend to stop all job search activity from Thanksgiving to the New Year? If so, you may be missing out on job opportunities. Many people think that hiring stops during the holiday season, so they halt all searching. While recruiting does tend to slow down during this time, open jobs are out there and there is less competition since so many people believe this myth! So your odds of being noticed actually increase! Even more importantly, there are extensive opportunities to network with the right people and to do so while they are in a holiday mood of helping others.
Holiday parties abound and while you may not feel in the party mood, the inside scoop is that this is an opportunity to develop relationships that can foster job leads. Here are some ideas of things you can do:
• HOLIDAY PARTIES: Be a “detective” learning about what others are doing and what is going on at their company. Maintain your professional demeanor in your attire and be careful to lay off drinks so that your behavior is appropriate. Use the opportunity to introduce your expertise, but do so in a nonaggressive way. Find out what you can do to help others, as you will be remembered for this.
• PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS: Are you a member of these live / face-to-face groups? If not, find out about them. You should be attending their holiday meetings (and regular programs!) as well as using the opportunity to grow and deepen your network. Get involved on committees and projects – demonstrate your value to other professionals in your field.
• FAMILY EVENTS: Do family members really know what you do and that you are exploring your options? Be sure key people are aware, though again, be appropriate and non-pushy at holiday time.
• CONSIDER SEASONAL OPPORTUNITIES: These temporary positions bring in extra income when finances are tight and provide opportunity to show recent employment experience if you have not worked in a while. Sometimes, such opportunities can lead to additional work or leads.
• SEND HOLIDAY CARDS: Remember to keep in touch with your existing network and send out cards that help them keep you in mind.
What else should you do? Try to relax and do things that you enjoy. This will rejuvenate the way you feel and will help you to exude positive vibes and self-assurance when you meet others. Employers love candidates who seem high energy and confident about their abilities. Happy Holidays!