Here’s some holiday real-talk for you: success doesn’t take December off.
So if you’re on the hunt for a new role, we suggest you don’t either.
In fact, contrary to popular belief, December might actually be one of the best months to work your way into your dream company.
While the competition is busy downing gingerbread and ‘nog, you have the chance to make this your most productive month of 2014.
It’s Naturally Social
Holiday party season, if you play it right, can be a perfect time to network. The mulled wine and champers are keeping even the grinchiest of hiring managers in good spirits, so seize the opportunity by making an impression. (And note that your “impression” shouldn’t be the drunk person who ended up getting escorted home.)
Use caution in your approach, too; “shop talk” can really put a damper on a good party. Just be friendly, mention you’ve heard good things about their company/projects and leave them with something subtle and unique to remember you by.
This makes a January 2nd follow-up both appropriate and appreciated.
Also, everyone loves holiday cards. If you’ve met and scored the email or mailing address of a desired employer in the past, a festive note could be the perfect time to remind them of that meeting, while making them feel popular at the same time.
Boom. You just killed two turtledoves with one stone.
The Competition is Lacking (or Slacking)
Once that first holiday party hits, somehow a lot of young (and old) professionals magically switch into vacation mode. This can also go for job hunters, especially those who believe the misconception that employers are also on holidays for an entire month.
There are a variety of factors at play here, so it’s in your best interest to keep your search going and beat out the slackers by staying on your search game.
One of those factors that might work to your advantage is the phenomenon of the year-end bonus. Whoever is holding your dream job might have been waiting it out to move on, which HR departments have come to expect. Sudden vacancies this month can mean that if you’re on the ball, you’ll probably be ahead of the crowd too – improving your chances of scoring a coveted role.
Pro Tip: if you’re in the “employed, but so ready to move” position, you might be able to take advantage of the slower days at the office (and days off) to fix up your resume and get on the hunt.
Fresh start to 2015
January 2nd is a nice day to start, both for you and the company. It makes for clean contract dates, and because of the holiday, you won’t feel like you’re playing catch-up the same way you would at other times of the year. HR knows this, and we can say from experience, they appreciate a lower-stress January if you’re ready to roll at the beginning of the month.
A December approach can also score you eagerness points. January is one of the busiest hiring months because of newly approved budgets, etc., so if you start now, you could find yourself at the top of the pile, ahead of all those 2015 resolution job seekers.
Ultimately, like in sports, success can be made or broken in the “off-season.” Taking advantage of the opportunity to work hard to get ahead while everyone else is resting and partying can be the real difference-maker. So stay hungry, even when you’re stuffing your face for a month.
It looks good on you.