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Should I Stop My Job Search During the Holidays?

As the calendar year comes to a close, job seekers may be tempted to put their hunt on hold. After all, companies are too busy trying to get work done amongst office parties and days off to have time for new hires, right?

Wrong, say many experts. Slack off during November and December and you might just miss one of the best times of the year to find a job.

Company needs for talent do not take vacation

“I would say taking time off from your job search is never wise, regardless of the time of year or season,” states Frank Dadah, general manager at Winter, Wyman — one of the largest staffing organizations in the north-eastern United States. “Oftentimes, year end is the busiest time of the year for companies, not only because they are getting ready for the year-end close but because they are gearing up for a quick start to the new year. It may be a bit more challenging to schedule interviews during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean companies aren’t hiring.”

The reality is, when there is a need, a candidate needs to be there. The idea that a candidate should suspend her job search during the holidays or that employers stop recruiting during this time is very dated. In fact, there are benefits to continuing your job search over the holiday season.

One of the foremost reasons to pursue employment during the final months of the year is a reduction in competition. By keeping your search going at a time when others have slowed down or stopped, you have a greater chance of being noticed. Also, job seeking during the holidays can show prospective employers your seriousness about landing a position. HR managers have year-end deadlines. Near the end of the fiscal year, hiring managers may have a number of new positions to fill and it is likely they will be evaluated on whether they are able to fill them in time.

There are multiple reasons to keep searching this holiday season:

Holiday activities often put managers in a more receptive mood.

When people are focused on family and fun through the holidays, they often are more open and receptive to conversation — even from job seekers.

Holiday events are a natural networking environment.

Professional associations often have free holiday events. Job seekers should be sure to take advantage of parties given by associations, chambers and clubs that are of interest.

Holiday greetings by mail, e-mail and telephone keep you connected.

People searching for jobs should harness the spirit of the season to amp up gratitude. Thank former clients, vendors and co-workers. Thank bosses and mentors. Thank everyone who has helped.

So while it may be tempting to take a long winter’s nap during the final weeks of the year, smart job seekers should write “looking for work” at the top of their holiday to-do list. They just might ring in the new year with a new job!


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