Job Searching Strategies for the Holidays

The end of the year is when formal hiring activities often slow down at many companies and organizations.  Most firms try to cut back on spending as the fiscal year comes to a close.  Also, with a lot of employees using time off to focus on the holidays, it leaves few people available to train potential new hires.  But if you’re looking for a new job, then I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of this period because it is one of the absolute best times of the year to be networking with others.  The reason is many companies are gearing up for the next fiscal year when hiring kicks into full gear in the first quarter.  However, many organizations prefer to informally identify their future new hires in these final two months, so it is important to be visible, active, and focused.

Here are six ideas to explore as you search for new or different work.

  1. Holiday Parties– When you’re out of work, your natural feelings might be to skip out on these, but I would strongly encourage you to fight against that urge and attend!  Most people get jobs through people that they know, and these types of gatherings are easy ways to connect with old acquaintances and meet new ones.
  2. Kids’ activities–  If you have children or grandchildren, then whatever school or extracurricular activities they are involved in makes for great opportunities to network with others.  Make the effort to get to know someone new when attending these events as you never know where it could lead someday.
  3. Church activities– Holiday time for many includes church and other religious activities.  I encourage you to attend these as it can be a tremendous opportunity to gain spiritual encouragement and fellowship with others.  You might even find a great lead for a job, too!
  4. Extended family gatherings– Many families have larger events around the holidays for extended families.  This can be another great way to connect with people you don’t see as often, and you might even find a lead or two for you regarding new employment possibilities.  Remember that blood runs thicker than water, so don’t be afraid to let these people know you need help.
  5. Volunteering– Many places are in need of volunteers during the holidays.  Whether you go as an individual or team up with family or friends, it can be a great way to serve others while taking the focus off your employment dilemma for a bit.  Volunteering also can be a great way to meet and interact with all kinds of new people, which could even lead to new job possibilities.
  6. Seasonal job opportunities– Many companies need seasonal workers for a variety of jobs during the holiday season.  If you’re looking for work, these can help to provide an employment bridge on a temporary basis while you continue your search.  This added visibility of working during the holidays also helps create new networking opportunities or even an audition for full-time work within the organization.

The biggest mistake a job seeker can make during the holidays is to go into hibernation until January.  If you take advantage of the many networking opportunities suggested above, you’ll be well on your way to your next employment.

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