Facing job loss is difficult, but it can be especially challenging to be let go around the holidays. RiseSmart, the leading provider of contemporary career transition services, has put together several tips for conducting a job search during the holidays, as well as some reasons why it’s a good time to be in the market.
December and January tend to be the best hiring months of the year, and the holidays create an exceptional opportunity to network extensively and become better positioned in the job market. Tips for making the most of a job search during the holiday season include:
1. Stay positive. While losing a job around the holidays can be difficult, it is important to maintain a positive attitude. Employers are attracted to those who are optimistic and upbeat, since those are the types of people that others want to surround themselves with and work with on a daily bases.
Friends and family can serve as a support group to help alleviate negativity and maintain perspective. That being said, if someone is unable to get past the initial shock of being let go and feels depressed or angry, it is better for him or her to move through some of those emotions before launching into a job search.
2. Take advantage of the timing. Since work tends to slow down during the holidays, current and future professional contacts have more time to respond to emails and inquiries. Winter is an exceptional period to work on building relationships with target companies and landing informational networking meetings.
Also, many people take a break from their job search during the end of the year, so this greatly decreases competition during the last quarter. However, in January, some professionals who have jobs enter the market with a "new year, new career" mentality, further increasing competition.
Another benefit to continuing the job search at the end of the year is that companies are gearing up for the year ahead. While many positions will become open in January, recruiters and hiring managers often use the months before the requisition goes live to identify candidates and begin the screening process, meaning outreach and proactive networking activities may yield a higher response rate. On the flip side, many companies need to fill open positions before the end of the year or they will lose funding – forcing them to put hiring efforts into overdrive.
3. Volunteer. It’s rewarding to help others and this also puts things into perspective by recognizing that there are others who are facing more challenging situations and circumstances. An added bonus is that volunteering can actually be a great way to network, providing opportunity to meet and interact with other volunteers. This is especially beneficial when volunteering is focused around the use of career-related skills to help others.
Volunteering can also help fill gaps on a resume. The holidays are a great time to volunteer at local nonprofits related to one’s expertise or take on fill-in contracts and temp assignments.
4. Make the most of networking opportunities. The holidays bring excellent opportunities for networking; there's no bigger time of year for mixers, holiday parties and get-togethers, which means lots of face time with all types of connections, from friends and family, to a variety of professional contacts. People are also in a giving spirit during the holidays and will likely be more receptive to networking attempts and also more likely to want to help how they can.
RiseSmart is a leading provider of contemporary career transition services that strengthen employer brands, improve retention and re-engage talent. RiseSmart's contemporary approach to outplacement combines personalized services from trained professionals with unmatched technology delivered through a convenient, cloud-based platform. High-performing organizations in more than 40 industries rely on RiseSmart’s outplacement solution, RiseSmart Transition, to help former employees find new jobs faster. Landing rates exceeding 80 percent and time-to-placement averages more than 60 percent faster than national averages have helped make RiseSmart the nation’s fastest-growing outplacement firm. RiseSmart's innovative approach to human capital management has earned the company a wide range of awards and recognition from organizations including Bersin by Deloitte, the Best in Biz, Gartner Inc., the Golden Bridge Awards, GreatRated!, LAROCQUE, the Momentum Index, Red Herring, the San Francisco Business Times, SiliconIndia, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, the Stevie Awards and TIE. Additionally, RiseSmart’s outplacement solution has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association. For more information about how enterprise career management can help you, visit http://www.risesmart.com.