Posted: December 16, 2009
The top 10 reasons to job-hunt in December
Don't put off till 2010 what you can do todayJohn Heckers
I'm hearing it again and again. "I'll begin on that after the first." Or "I'll do that after the holidays." This is a great procrastination excuse that costs people both money and the most of the month of December. It is a very bad excuse for job-seekers at the executive level. Here's why.
1). Business is still being done in December. While there are certainly holiday parties, and some people have slowed down, I'll bet that, when you were employed, you didn't take the month of December off, did you? Well, neither do the very executives who have the ability to hire you.
2). You can "fill your pipeline" for January hiring. Almost all executive jobs these days are found by networking, and December, with all the holiday parties, are a great time to network. People are more accessible during these holiday times, and more willing to chat. Use the willingness to talk to get well-networked in December.
3). Your competitors aren't necessarily wasting December. Believe me, not everyone is waiting around "until the first of the year." Several of our clients are interviewing, and several more have landed at their new positions in this past couple of weeks. There is activity out there that you're missing out on if you're taking the holidays to kick back and put your job search on hold.
4). You can use the time for preparation. Not only can you network during this time, but you can do any "prep" work you need to get done, such as preparing a better résumé, researching of companies, making necessary calls, and so on.
5). The holidays offer an excuse to "look up" old contacts. "I just called to wish you a happy Festivus" (or whatever) is a great excuse to talk to old contacts you haven't spoken with in a while. As you're "catching up" you can talk about your search and set up coffees.
6). The "holidays" are just an excuse. Getting out there and finding a job is scary. Making decisions is scary. Spending money, especially if unemployed, on anything you need for the job search is scary. Get over it. "I'll deal with this after the first of the year" is simply an excuse for procrastination. The "first of the year" isn't magical in any way. Waiting to get on with it simply puts you further behind the eight ball on January 1 than you are now. Can you afford that?
7). January hits hard and fast. As I get older, the years, months and weeks seem to fly by faster. Before you know it, it will be "the first of the year," and everything you're procrastinating on now are things you're going to have to get done. But the competitors of yours who have been working through December instead of putting things off already have them done. The "hottest" hiring time is between January 15th and March 15th. Don't waste it! Be prepared like a good Boy Scout.
8). People often hire the last week of December. There are some companies who hire during the last week of December. In the last two years, we have had more than one client "land" during this time that everyone thinks is dead. It isn't.
9). Some people have the opposite attitude -- those you want to work for. There are some people who have the attitude "I need to get this done before the first of the year hits me." These people tend to be very successful businesspeople. They also tend to be the CEOs and other executives in small to medium-sized companies. The very best jobs for executive job-hunters, especially those who are over the age of 40, are found in small to medium-sized companies. I can assure you that those of us who are entrepreneurs can't afford to take the month of December off. You may very well miss the opportunity of your life if you do.
10). By staying active and making decisions in December, you're showing that you have a good work ethic. You might have come from a large company where no one really did much in December. That is part of a large-company ethic. But today's smaller, leaner companies expect a different work ethic. Show them that you possess it by working when they are.
These are a few of the many reasons you shouldn't waste December. Merry or happy (fill in the blank) and a very successful and prosperous New Year!
John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.