You weren’t ready for that, were you? Me neither. With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving gobbling its way into our hearts and waistlines in a couple of weeks, it’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is here.
With it comes the annual parade of myths that stop unsuspecting job hunters in their tracks.
Now, it may be important for you to slow or suspend your job search during the holidays for personal or family reasons. If you have family get-togethers, school and church programs, community events, and other occasions tugging at you, as long as a job search isn’t a priority, the holidays are a perfect time for a time out.
But what if you don’t want to slow down? Perhaps your family is depending on you to land your next job quickly, holidays or no. You really need to change jobs now, and all you hear is how the holidays will prevent your efforts from paying off.
Fortunately, what you’re hearing is largely untrue. Here are the myths you’re likely to hear in the next couple of months and the reality that is a lot different.
Myth: No one hires during the holidays, so you might as well not look for a job
You’re likely to hear about the holiday hiring slowdown. Perhaps you’ve believed it for so long, you don’t even know where you heard it first. Myths are like that.
You begin to wonder if you should even bother with your job search efforts during November and December. Are you wasting your time?
Reality: This is not a peak hiring period, but hiring goes on
While the bigger hiring months are February, March, September, and October, hiring does not stop during the holidays. Sometimes, hiring takes longer because key people are on vacation, but job vacancies exist and need to be filled.
Myth: Hiring takes forever during the holidays
Job seekers often assume hiring managers want to avoid dealing with new hires because they are so busy filling gaps left by holiday vacations and end-of-year activities. Further, if the wrong people are on vacation, a hiring decision can be postponed until January.
Reality: There is less competition, so hiring can be quicker.
It is true that a job search can take longer at the end of the year, but job vacancies don’t go away just because it’s the holiday season. Many recruiters and hiring managers feel increased pressure to hire before the new year. They want to fill the open positions BEFORE people start their vacations so as not to hold up the hiring process. If the hiring does slow down during the holidays, not being able to get all the decision-makers in room is the reason.
In addition, because so many job seekers suspend their job searches during the holidays, the competition eases, and the chance of landing a job increases. So, the good news is that the opportunity may be larger, but the decision may come more slowly.
Myth: Employers have used up their hiring budgets by November.
Many job seekers assume that hiring authorities are waiting until January to hire so they can save money. They figure the company has already seen the bottom of the hiring budget barrel, so they will now wait for the influx of money for the new year.
Reality: Employers must step up hiring so budgets won’t be slashed.
In many companies, the end of the year means budget time, but that is not true in every company. Fiscal years vary by industry and company.
Some hiring managers worry that they will lose the position if they don’t fill it by the end of the year. Others will start searches at the end of the year to offset operating profits and avoid paying taxes.
Myth: Workplaces are too busy to pay attention to prospective employees during the holidays.
Closing out the year, holiday vacations, budget meetings, and even cold, stormy weather makes job seekers hesitate to reach out to companies during the holidays.
Reality: Holiday parties are a great place to connect with employees of companies that interest you.
Connecting is important any time of year. Holidays are full of opportunities for connecting because many companies and individuals have parties. These gatherings provide opportunities to talk with people informally about how to connect with the right person at their company. Employee referrals are the No. 1 way people get jobs. You can make them work for you, too, especially during the holidays.
If you still have doubts about conducting a holiday job search, contact me today to talk about strategies that will help you land a job you will love.
Image courtesy gubgib via Freedigitalphotos.net.