According to conventional wisdom, job hunting between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is largely a fruitless endeavor. People who hold this belief point to the disruption of the holiday season—between travel, shopping, and absences due to illness, businesses and workers are distracted from day-to-day operations, and hiring can take a backseat as a result.
There is some truth to this argument, and many people in the San Francisco Bay Area do suspend their job searches in December. However, this time of year presents unique opportunities for people who remain motivated and persistent in the pursuit of their next position.
There are a number of companies who are indeed searching for a great employee during the holiday season. These firms have budget for a new employee with a vacant chair waiting to be filled. Many are desperate for help in overworked departments and the new headcount that the 2015 budget offers in January is their saving grace. So, when you start an interview process during December be sure to ask about the time frame for interviews, likelihood of an offer and potential start date. I often hear from applicants “I didn’t expect the process to move this quickly”. Communicate realistic expectations about the timing that works for your family and specifically when you want to start a new role. Information about travel plans should be communicated at the onset of the interview/application process.
Networking at Social Gatherings
Holiday parties are excellent opportunities to network in a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere. Say yes whenever possible to any events to which you are invited. If your schedule is not overbooked, look into the year-end networking events for key local business organizations, industrial groups, and trade associations related to your line of work. These events are better-attended than corresponding meetings throughout the year.
At the party or networking event, people outside your immediate social circle are the most valuable individuals to engage in conversation. They likely know many people you don’t. Silicon Valley is smaller than you think—your new acquaintances may be able to refer or introduce you to someone who will be incredibly helpful in your job search. Be sure to review the best practices for working the room in mind when you attend your next event!
Gift Ideas—for You
Regardless of religion, most of us exchange gifts with family and friends during the holidays. If someone asks you what you want this year, consider suggesting a gift that will help you in your job search. For example, is there a professional education course that you’d like to take? Perhaps a key piece of clothing would finish off your interview outfit. Or maybe there’s a business book you’ve heard about and would love to read. All you have to do is ask!
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Most importantly, don’t push yourself so hard in your job search that you sacrifice your health and mental well-being. Maintaining balance and proper self-care will prove invaluable in helping you maintain a high level of energy and positivity throughout the month.
Menlo Partners is Here to Help
Our dedicated team of professional recruiters is available to assist you throughout the holidays and into the New Year.