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The holiday season has commenced! Thanksgiving is becoming a vague memory, a tryptophan-obscured day of turkey and football. Black Friday has been shopped and Cyber Monday is slowly tapering off. The weeks leading up to New Year’s often seem compressed and jam-packed with activity. Focus on work seems to wane as people plan for family visits, feasts with friends and festivities related to their jobs or professions. If you are seeking employment or looking to change jobs, this time of year often feels like a lost cause. You’re too busy or, if you’re not, those that do the hiring usually are. At least, that’s what you’ve come to expect.
Lost in the holiday hullabaloo is the fact that there are indeed some opportunities in December to network, to generate job leads and to actually engage in a job search that has the potential of generating positive results. Here are some things to remember:
- Tis the season. To be social. To get in touch, to reconnect, to communicate. If there are company functions planned, attend them. Remember that not every job lead necessarily involves another employer. It may actually exist with your current company. If you’re invited to other holiday parties, go. It doesn’t matter whose party it is. Go. Friend’s employer having a party? Go. Association you belong to hosting a mixer? Go. Local chamber of commerce having an open house? Go. The idea is to collect as many leads as you can.
- Just say no. To alcohol. While not every festivity is guaranteed to generate potential job leads, any conduct on your part that results in a need for you to apologize is virtually guaranteed to close a door, if not worse. Don’t for a moment think that because it’s the holiday season a potential employer will forgive (never mind forget) a drunken display. And, no, no employer will deny you an opportunity because you didn’t drink at a holiday party. Trust us. Drinking or not drinking is not a test.
- It’s the write time. Or, rather, it’s the time to write. Think holiday greeting cards are passé? Perhaps, if they’re preprinted without the addition of a personal touch. Who among us doesn’t like to receive a handwritten note from someone we know? Exactly. Go through your contact list and take inventory of those people with whom you have had a positive connection. It might be a former employer, a mentor, someone you met at a conference, whatever. If you haven’t thought about some of these individuals in some time, it’s likely they haven’t thought much about you lately either. So give them a reason to do so. Showing you care may be exactly what the doctor ordered. As the saying goes, timing is everything. And your friendly social reminder may just cross the desk of someone who knows of a position for which you are ideally suited. Wouldn’t a new job start the New Year off just right?
- Job hunting doesn’t have an offseason. Just because people might be a bit preoccupied with holiday plans doesn’t mean that the wheels of commerce stop turning. Businesses continue to operate, companies continue to hire and fire and employees will quit no matter what the calendar may say. Don’t assume that your ideal job would never be available between Thanksgiving and the day everyone returns to work after January 1. That job might actually come up. Will you even know about it?
December is a month associated with good cheer. Why, then, should you feel gloomy about your prospects of finding job leads during the holiday season?