People typically take time over the holidays to rest, relax, or vacation. Many also set New Year’s resolutions, which often include looking for a new job. Why wait until the clock chimes midnight on January 1st? January is one of the best months to find success but you want to be prepared. Here are ten ways to keep your job hunt alive during the holidays.
1. Continue to apply for jobs
It’s a myth companies stop looking for qualified employees during the holidays. In reality, job listings actually increase in December/January by about 15%. Hiring is no longer seasonal, it’s on-demand. However, because of this myth, job seekers tend to get lax on their search during December.
2. Apply for temporary roles
The holidays are the perfect time to stretch your legs and try something different. Businesses often need extra help during the holidays and, you never know, a seasonal gig might turn into a full-time position after the New Year.
3. Create a career plan
Setting a career plan helps guide you in landing the job of your dreams. Spend December writing down your career goals for the upcoming year. Then, brainstorm ways to achieve them.
4. Grow your skillset
Give a gift to yourself this year by growing your skillset. Take a class, earn a new certification, or beef up technical skills. Spend time watching free tutorials on YouTube or explore other free online opportunities.
Holidays are for giving, and volunteering for a local cause is one way to help others. Due to the turmoil the pandemic has created for many people, this year’s needs are greater than ever. Aside from being the right thing to do, you can benefit too. You’ll receive gratification from helping others, potentially meet like-minded people outside your regular circles, and learn new skillsets.
6. Continue networking
Networking is a task that should never stop, but 2020 has been tough and in-person networking may have fallen to the wayside. However, it’s never too late! The holidays are a great time to reach out to your contacts and send best wishes. While you’re at it, compile a list of companies you’d like to work for, start following them on LinkedIn, and begin commenting on their posts.
7. Improve professional appearance
A resume should be a living, breathing document, always growing and changing. Take time this month to update it. Once you’ve completed this task, run a health check on your online presence. Remove anything unflattering on social media and spiffy up your LinkedIn profile. Collectively, these acts will build a stronger professional appearance.
8. Get references in order
Think about people who would be good professional references and drop them a note. Individuals to consider are former bosses, colleagues, customers, volunteer coordinators, and college professors.
9. Accommodate employers
Since many employers are ready to start work after New Year’s Day, they may want to interview during the holidays. If you’re flexible to interview, it may give you an edge in landing the job.
10. Invest in yourself
While #4 is an opportunity to invest in your professional self, take time to invest in your personal well-being too. Job hunting can be grueling. A few minutes of meditation, a home spa treatment, or a daily short walk can do wonders. Also, take a few days off from your search and unplug from technology. Taking steps to recharge will make you stronger when you return to your job search.
Next year is likely to see increased competition for jobs due to the unfortunate job losses caused by COVID-19 shutdowns. Rather than powering down for the next few weeks, keep up the momentum. This way, you will be ready to roll when you spot an opportunity.