By: Teri DePuy
It’s the winter holiday season and as a job seeker you might find yourself a little blue during the gray, cold winter months and lacking motivation to put effort into a search. I often hear clients say, “I shouldn’t bother looking for a job now, no one is really hiring this time of year.” Guess again, the November-December months can be the perfect time to embark on a career transition, and here’s why. Many organizations are working hard to fill current year vacancies and are starting to post positions approved in next year’s budget. Plus, many candidates take themselves out of the market this time of year, thereby, creating less competition. My advice is double down. Not only should you stay busy, get outside and connect with family and friends – it’s important to keep your momentum going and take advantage of the available jobs with a reduced candidate pool. There’s no better recipe to overcome winter blues than being active, so let’s get to it!
Start by making sure your foundational tools are updated and you’re ready to maximize a search. Here are a few things that that you need:
Next, with laser-sharp focus know exactly what you need to do and when by creating SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals to plan each activity and stay on track. Here are some suggestions on what to include in your action plan:
- Application submittals
- Outreach to new LinkedIn connections
- Informational interviews or coffee conversations
- Attend social or educational industry events and meet-ups
- Follow-up actions for all of the above
Enjoying the holidays and increasing your activity two-fold may sound like an impossible challenge, but it’s really not if you work smart. Try these tips:
Limit time spent at events. Commit to staying for one hour, obtain four solid connections and schedule a follow up conversation with each then you’re done! Expert tip: Host an event with your fans.
Write once and connect twice. As a different twist for your annual holiday cards, get an early start with a fall seasonal card to re-connect with colleagues, family, and friends. For a strategic few, include an invitation for a virtual coffee or in-person chat. Expert tip: Design a digital card to save time.
Grow your relevance on LinkedIn. ~85% of talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers use LinkedIn to find candidates for their positions. Therefore, regular activity and a strong presence are essential to help others find you. Consider writing some of those recommendations you’ve been meaning to get to and ask for a recommendation in return. Expert tip: Write an article relevant to your role, industry or expertise to help grow your visibility.
The best source of motivation is action. I encourage you to tackle this phase of your search with confidence – get your tools organized, build a measurable plan and be mindful of all that you are grateful for during the season of giving. You’ve got this! Ready. Set. Go.
What other tips do you have to share? I’d love to hear your ideas for optimizing a search during the winter.