3 Reasons Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Job Search

 

We’re just around the corner from the holidays…. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years – they are coming.

Many job seekers believe that the holidays are a terrible time to job search. Why? They feel that people are too busy with the festivities or are away on vacation or maybe just checked out with the end of year so near.

I believe the holidays are a perfect time to job search. Here are three reasons why:

1. Fantastic networking opportunities

At this time of year there are year-end, Christmas and other holiday events happening everywhere. If you don’t belong to a networking group now is a great time to join one or attend an event. Don’t know where to start? Try Googling networking events + your location + holidays and see what is available in your area.

A quick Google search in Vancouver showed these finds:

 

Do you belong to an association? This time of year many associations have networking events or socials you might attend. Don’t belong to an association? Short on cash? Often organizations/associations/network groups will allow you to attend as a guest before joining, sometimes for a reduced rate or even for free.

Try volunteering. This time of year there are lots of volunteer opportunities. Give back and watch what comes to you.

Holiday parties are another great place to network – whether they are your company parties (if you are employed) or parties you attend with friends/family.

No matter where you are networking keep the following in mind:

  • Be prepared

It’s good to have a quick blurb/elevator pitch prepared. For example:

I’m a ______________ looking for opportunities in ______________. I’m particularly interested in ________________ or _________________ (companies/organizations). Would you know any places I could look or people I could talk to?

  • Be curious

It’s not all about you. Have a few questions you can ask other people, listen and be genuinely interested and helpful. People like talking about themselves so being curious and asking them questions can lead to great connections down the road.

  • Bring business cards

Make sure you have business cards on hand and don’t just keep them stuffed in your pocket – hand them out. Ask for other people’s cards and remember to follow up with them later.

  • Dress professionally

‘Tis the season to get dressed up to the nines… but, when it comes to professional holiday networking events, you want to keep it tasteful. Avoid denim and too much cologne/perfume.

  • Smile and be positive

Even if you don’t feel like smiling, try it. Bring on the positive energy and watch what happens! People are attracted to positivity.

And now is a great time (and excuse) to wish someone a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, and reconnect with your past colleagues, friends and contacts.

2. People are in the holiday spirit

There’s something about the holidays that can bring out the best in people. Make those cold calls, be brave and connect. This time of year I’ve found people are more receptive to meeting with you. Now’s the time to schedule those informational interviews.

3. Year-end often means money for hiring new people

Often companies that are nearing year-end have money left in their budgets to spend. What does that mean to a job seeker? You might be able to get your foot in the door on a short contract. Contracts allow you and the employer to see if you are a good fit for the company. It gives you a sense of how the company operates and provides valuable experience.

Companies want to spend their budgets or they may lose this money. Now may be the time they add that new position they have been longing to do.

Employers hire people that approach them at the right time.

Let that be you!

Don’t put you’re your job search on hold just because it is the holiday season. Job search and the spirit of the season…they can go together.  In fact, this may be the BEST time of the year to job search.

Now what strategies will you apply?

 

Back To School Nostalgia!

It’s back to school time and that always makes me a little nostalgic. I always loved getting new notebooks and pens, and a new outfit for school. A fresh start. To me September is still that time. Though I’m no longer in school I still think of September as a New Year – maybe even more than January. It’s the change in seasons that does it for me. With the close of Summer, Fall comes softly in. Mornings are crisp, days are shorter and the leaves start to turn. A new Season makes me reevaluate what I’m doing, how I’m … Continue reading

Whether You Think You Can, Or You Think You Can’t You are Right!

  What we believe is the most important thing to move us forward. Our beliefs guide us into thinking what we can do, and what we can’t. And our brain is really what helps us succeed – or not! Ask a marathoner and they are likely to say that yes being physically fit is important but so is their mental state. If they don’t believe they can complete the race, they might as well not even start. My daughter Jessica is a great example of the “I can” belief. In a life changing accident at 15 that put her in … Continue reading

Burn Out – It Happened To Me

  I Reached Burn Out. Here’s my story… Four years after my teenage daughter Jessica broke her neck it happened to me. At the time I thought burn out only happens to people who aren’t very aware, people that aren’t “strong”, people that can’t handle life. Then one February morning I woke up and started crying…for no apparent reason, or so I thought. And I couldn’t stop crying. So I called in sick to work. The next day the same thing happened. The tears spilled out and as hard as I tried I couldn’t get them to stop. Again I … Continue reading

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Do you ever have that feeling where you have so much to do you don’t know where to start? I know I do. When life throws so much at us we don’t know where to begin we’ll often dig in and then we don’t do anything. Sound familiar? Here’s a couple of tips to help with that overwhelm. 1. Set some intentions for the day. What do you really want to accomplish today? What is important? 2. Take tiny steps Overwhelm often happens when we think we have to do EVERYTHING so instead we do almost nothing! Small steps towards … Continue reading

Do you want your Inner Jedi to shine through or your Inner Darth Vader?

    In a previous article I talked about calming your ferocious thoughts. You know, the sometimes loud voice in our heads that is being negative. These thoughts are called many things…the saboteur, inner critic or gremlin. Shirzad Chamine who wrote the book Positive Intelligence talks about our more positive side “The Sage” or Inner Jedi, and our Saboteur or Inner Darth Vader. The saboteur is motivated by negative emotions. The Sage is motivated by positive emotions such as empathy, creativity, passion, purpose, curiosity.  You want to strengthen your Inner Jedi. Shirzad suggests you ask yourself what is the gift or opportunity … Continue reading

Calming Those Ferocious Thoughts

  Ferocious Thoughts! We all have them! Sometimes it is a loud voice in our heads, other times it’s a quiet one. Does this sound familiar? I’m not good enough. They will think I’m a fraud. I’m a fake. Anyone else could do this better than me. I’m not smart enough. I’m not man (or woman) enough. I’m too old….I’m too young. I’m not a real_______ (writer, artist, singer, coach, teacher etc.) You fill in the blank. Other times it is the voice of someone else still in our heads: Who do you think you are? What makes you qualified? … Continue reading

9 Ways To Move Ahead In Your Career

  Often people want to progress in their careers. This can look different depending on the person. Some people want to move up the corporate ladder, others want to move out of their current job into another role and still others may want to have a new challenge within their organization. Here’s nine ways to move ahead in the company you currently work for.   Take on extra projects. Show that you work more than your job description.   Participate in activities outside of your job. Volunteer to lead the staff bbq or run a fundraiser.   Tell your boss. … Continue reading

Networking Your Way to Your Dream Job

I just came back from my family reunion. It was a smaller affair with just over 60 people (our last reunion had close to 140!). Yet it was a wonderful experience to connect with my family. One story in particular I think is worth sharing. Steven, one of my cousin’s kids, landed a job with a large U.S. tech firm as a Senior Software Developer. As a career coach I’m always interested in how people get their jobs. Here’s his story… he was working for a small tech firm in the Okanagan. He attended a tech conference in San Francisco and was … Continue reading

Common Interview Questions And How to Answer Them

Interviews can send shivers of terror down your back – but they don’t have to. With some preparation and practice ahead of time you can reduce the anxiety and even enjoy (maybe?) the interview process. Employers really are looking at three categories when they interview you: Can you do the job? Do you want the job? Are you a fit for the job and company? Let’s look at each of these in detail Can you do the job? A common questions employers may ask is, “What are your strengths?” Be careful with this question. If they ask you to tell them about three of … Continue reading