5 STARTLING REASONS WHY THE HOLIDAYS ARE THE BEST TIME TO NETWORK TO FIND YOUR DREAM JOB
"Fantastic – it is the holidays so I can take time off from my job hunting. I am exhausted and need a break!"
Does this sound familiar? Are you tired of all the work involved in finding a job – and really need a break? And think that this holiday time would be the perfect time to relax. Well, I am sorry to tell you, that you should not – since it turns out that the Christmas holiday season can be the best time to find a job. The following explains the startling 5 reasons why this is so.
1. It's party time!
• The word holiday is synonymous with parties. And parties are a phenomenal stage for networking. You have the opportunity to not only meet new people but also to reconnect with people you have not seen in a year.
• People are usually happy at parties: more likely to want to connect with you. No one wants to come across as a scrooge!
• Ask questions of people you meet – to "connect" such as how do you know the hostess, etc. Just start a conversation! People love to be heard. Ask your host / hostess who will be there – ask for introductions.
• So you ask, what about my job search? Please do not start any conversations with your being out of work. However there is a great chance it will come up in the conversation. Be prepared to answer the questions – and do not be embarrassed since you are not the only person seeking a job! Be positive. When asked, respond with some information about a recent success such as a compliment you received from a potential hiring manager or an upcoming interview.
• Bring business cards (sometimes called contact cards) with a link (such as a website or linked-in) to your resume. Do not bring your resume.
• One key component of holiday parties is alcohol. Limit its use – drink 'mocktails' instead. Remember that the effect of alcohol is insidious as it begins to affect your brain function before you even realize it. Do you want to suffer from any of these when you are meeting someone who can potentially help you get a job?
2. Keeps you healthy!
a. Job Searches are by definition stress producers! This can lead to depression, despair. So by actively working on your job search – and what better way than to network – you are keeping the neurochemicals of serotonin and dopamine working, which counteract the stress.
b. By not breaking your search routine you actually protect yourself from falling into that abyss which is very hard to get out of. It also prevails the stressors of discouragement and dismay from creeping in.
c. Most everyone is happy at holiday time. Happiness leads to better resilience and health.
3. Opportunity to reach out to people:
• Holidays provide a great reason to contact everyone and to reconnect with others. It provides 'warm and fuzzies' to let people know you are thinking of them. This list can includes old connections, recruiters or even human resource professionals you have met. Especially the 'new' people you have met at parties.
• How to do it is simple. You can send a card by snail mail or via an e-card.
• Do something a bit different: send out New Years' cards instead of Christmas cards.
• Many people (including potential hiring managers) will answer their own phones at this time of year!
4. Key point in business cycle in many businesses (excluding retail industry)
• Number of job seekers will be less than normal.
• The New year is a time of employee changes in business. Most jobs are filled in January: so guess when the interviews are?
• There may be extra funds remaining in the hiring budget – that has to be used up by the end of the year.
• Finally, the end of the year, which may signal a business slowdown – also represents a great time for reflection on the future of the business – how it will grow. And you may just fit into that future plan!
5. The final reason is that this is the season of miracles!
• It is a season of giving, of paying forward, of doing service to others.
• Potential employers look more clearly on those looking for work; especially your dedication to your search even when many are taking time off.
• Think of the person who really needs you – he / she is probably at a party where you can meet!
• Do some volunteer work. You can never tell where you will meet the right people – especially while you are doing service.
Try one or two of these ideas – hopefully, you will find the right gifts under your tree!