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    Don’t Quit Your Job Search During the Holidays

    It’s almost that time of year again.  Stores have all sorts of decorations and gift ideas on display.  We’re entering the holiday season.  But wait!  What does this mean for your job search?

    In short, it means you need to continue.  Don’t let up.  Today I’ll explain what happens from an employer perspective and both why you should press on and tips for doing so.

    Aside from retail, employers tend to slow down their hiring during the holidays.  Several factors contribute to that reality, but keep in mind not all employers put their brakes on.  Many times they’ll want to hire during the current calendar year so any recruiting fees will be counted in this year’s budget.  Also, they’d like to get that new person on board and trained so they can hit the ground running in the new year.

    Even if a company won’t hire in the 4th quarter, but will look to hire in the coming few months, wouldn’t it make sense for them to know of some viable candidates prior to them beginning their recruiting search?  Sure it would.

    And so, knowing companies will eventually hire… whether it’s 4th quarter or sometime in the coming year, now you have your answer to why you need to press on.  You simply never know for sure when opportunities will become available.  It’s critical to have a solid network of contacts to not only keep you in mind when they have openings, but who could also help advocate on your behalf when there are suitable openings outside their company.  It’s not easy to simply flip a switch and have a great network of contacts be aware of your situation.

    Keep in mind that many of your peers will be pausing their search during the holidays.  This allows you to operate with less competition.  The numbers are in your favor, particularly from the networking perspective.

    And that leads me to the “what can I do” part.  Network, network, network.  Use LinkedIn and any other means to establish rapport with people in your field.  You’ll make new acquaintances and help solidify or renew old relationships along the way.  Continue to apply online for jobs.

    Use the holidays to ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile are top notch.  Ask a Goodwill job coach, a hiring official or a recruiter to review them.  Don’t rely on a loved one for that sort of feedback.  They want to be helpful, but they may not have the knowledge necessary to offer sound advice.  Beyond that, they may not want to hurt your feelings, so they may hesitate to point out areas to be addressed.

    While it’s easy to allow the holidays to be consumed with family, parties, shopping and other activities, do your best to keep your networking and job search active.  Even if you don’t land that job in the 4th quarter, you’ll head into the new year with momentum.  Good luck!

    Randy Wooden
    Randy Wooden is Director of the Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC. Randy launched The Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC, the first program of its type for any Goodwill®, in 2012. His experiences in career coaching, executive recruiting, business ownership, as a hiring manager and as a job seeker have afforded him the opportunity to view the hiring process from all angles. He developed and provided on-air talent for the Internet’s first daily, live television program targeted toward job hunters. He shares job search tips through a bi-weekly newspaper column; regular appearances on television, radio; and frequent public speaking appearances. Contact information: rwooden@goodwillnwnc.org, (336) 464-0516
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