As you’ve likely witnessed, not a whole lot gets done during the holidays. It’s a time for attending office parties and using up those remaining vacation days, and in addition to lightening workloads, most companies put the brakes on hiring. No wonder so many jobseekers see December as a time to take a breather and recharge the old batteries.
But as author and career expert Mary Eileen Williams writes in a terrific Huffington Post story titled “This Is Why December Is The Best Month To Find A Job,” anyone looking for work would be wise to keep searching through the year’s final 31 days. As Williams explains, January and February are the strongest months for hiring, and that means December is a fine time to get on people’s radars.
One way to do so: attending holiday parties and gatherings. There’s no shortage of celebrations this time of year, and that translates to loads of opportunities to mingle and meet new people who might be able to help with your search. You’ll want to dress appropriately, refrain from drinking too much, and generally “exude a combination of professionalism and personal warmth,” Williams writes. Tell people you’re seeking new opportunities without being overbearing. You can even mention the companies you’re targeting and invite folks to share their thoughts — at a later date, of course, when everyone is back to the grind.
Similarly, you can use the holidays as an excuse to send cards and newsletters and reconnect with old contacts. While you should certainly start off by sharing personal stories about yourself and your family, you can mention — much in the same way you do at parties — that you’re looking for a job and focusing on certain companies. Tell people they’re welcome to reach out with ideas and suggestions, and then follow up later.
Finally, Williams writes, the holidays are about giving back and volunteering, and that again results in opportunities to chat up new folks and expand your network. One thing to note: Networking is a “two-day street,” as Williams writes, and helping others with their job searches “adds to the good will of the season and predisposes those in your circle to want to do the same for you.” Share tips and advice and earn some extra career karma before the year draws to a close.