Welcome to … The Holiday ZonePosted: November 29, 2014
For those of you old enough to remember this – imagine some twinkling music in the background and Rod Serling’s voice saying …
“Job seeker, you’ve noticed something has changed – there are fewer openings – no one returns your calls – everyone seems distracted. It’s because you have entered —— the Holiday Zone.”
I don’t have any factual data to back up what I’m about out to tell you, but I do have 30 years of experience. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a frustrating time to be a job seeker. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it is reality.
From an organization’s perspective, now is not the time to try to fill a job. They know that people who have jobs, stop looking for new jobs during the holidays. They know that they have spent their recruiting budget, and wont’ be buying any new advertising or creating any new jobs until after the first of the year. Everything slows down until January.
The same is true for the employed job seeker. They will spend their weekends and evenings shopping, wrapping, and attending holiday parties, not looking for jobs.
So, if you are unemployed, what do you do? Just put your search on the shelf for a month? No, you keep working, but you work smart.
Use holiday parties as networking activities. Meet new people, tell them your story, and ask if you can connect after the first of the year to exchange information and contacts.
Take this time to do some more intensive corporate research. Look at the local news websites to find which companies are in the news for charitable giving or other social outreach; then add them to your Target list and make plans to contact them in January – and when you do, mention how you support their good works.
Volunteer to work for a community organization that helps families over the holidays and do some networking with other volunteers. If you do schedule a networking meeting, take a few holiday cookies as a thank you gift.
Spend some time on your resume, maybe its time for a complete resume makeover; reorganize, rewrite, and refresh.
The point is, you can’t control the calendar, you can only control how you respond to it. You can curl up in a ball and wait for January, or you can spend your time productively. You won’t see as many postings, and you won’t get as many interview, and people won’t be as available to network; but that does not mean you can’t keep looking and making yourself better so that come January 1, you are ready to knock their socks off.
Enjoy the season, recognize your blessings, and get ready for a fantastic 2015.
For more details about I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another, click here.