Many job seekers think that the holidays are a bad time to find a job so they back off on their job search efforts. There are actually 3 reasons that the holidays are a great time to start or continue your job search.
Reason 1: Be Ready Before Your Job Opportunity Knocks
The process of searching for a job is actually step 4 of a successful job search. Quoting Coach Wooden, “When opportunity knocks it’s too late to prepare.” Get prepared before your job opportunity knocks. Make sure you have addressed the first 3 steps and have all of your marketing materials ready to go.
Step 1 is Attitude. There are 2 aspects to having the right attitude. The first aspect of attitude is understanding and accepting that the job market has changed. If you thought, “I have found a job before, I can do it again” without understanding what you need to do differently, then you will have a hard time finding a job. Take this time to understand the new job market and revise your job search approach.
The second aspect of having a good attitude is giving yourself time and permission to process the loss or fear so it does not negatively impact your body language, word choice or the energy you need to do the job search. Don’t think you can fake it. Like leftovers in a refrigerator, emotions do not get better with time. Take them out and deal with them.
Step 2 is Aptitude which means knowing your product – YOU. Can you give a powerful, concise answer when the hiring authority asks “Why should we hire you over your competition?” Your search will be less successful and take longer if you have not taken the time to identify and document your prior accomplishments and developed a personal brand. Be sure you know your product and how you are unique from your competition.
Step 3 is Altitude which means identifying the criteria of company that is looking for someone with your skills and experience. Target a list of companies that fit that criterion. Do not take the passive approach, waiting for companies to post positions. Instead identify and go after the companies you want to work for and who are looking for someone just like you.
These 3 steps must be completed before updating your marketing materials of which your resume is the least used. Know what other items of marketing materials you need and how and when to use them.
Reason 2: Planning Ahead for 2013
Companies are ramping up hiring to have people in seats at the beginning of the year.Budgets of many companies and institutes start over at the beginning of the calendar year. Those budgets include additional headcount. Hiring managers want to fill those seats as soon as possible to help with the immense workload. Managers also want to hire before budgets are adjusted down. Use this time to network into the job opportunity before someone else does.
Reason 3: Stand Apart
While others are stepping back in their search, step forward.You have probably seen the skit in cartoons where a troop is standing in a line and the drill sergeant asks for someone to volunteer by stepping forward. All of the members of the troop except one step back making it look like the one guy stepped forward. In this case it is not good to be the one who did not step back. But in the job search you want to be the one who is not only not stepping back but who is still moving forward. When others are missing out on opportunities, be the one who is there when opportunity knocks.
Have a very happy holidays with your family and keep the job search moving forward.