December 5, 2013
It's the most wonderful time of the year ... to job hunt
Life gets busier this time of year. No one would blame you if you, as a job seeker, decided to put the whole job-hunting project on hold until January. After all, conventional wisdom says that employers don't hire in December anyway. So why not just relax and enjoy the holidays with your family?
Because, as is so often the case, conventional wisdom is wrong.
The Thanksgiving-through-New-Year's season is actually one of the best times of the year to look for jobs, and not only because so many people decide to take a break that the competition (like the weather) is cooling.
For one thing, there are the holiday parties. What happier time to network? For another, some businesses slow down in December, giving hiring managers more time to consider applications. And for another, many companies set their budgets in the fall and expect to fill new positions in January. Some companies might even be finding they have money left in their 2013 budgets that they need to use or lose. Either way, you can get the jump on helping them spend it by putting yourself front and center.
The thing to remember about job hunting is that you need only one job. "Statistics" may tell us that "no one" is hiring, or that "too many" people are looking, but statistics are really useful only for describing the behavior of large populations. On the individual level, they mean next to nothing.
Here's an idea: Get used to thinking of yourself as an exception, and then position yourself, in the eyes of potential employers, as an exception. (You do this by clearly and powerfully describing yourself and what you do in terms of profit generation. That's what employers care about -- the bottom line.)
Sure, 11 million people are looking for work. But that's them. You're you. Prove to an employer that you are capable, independent, motivated and knowledgeable -- that you are the exception -- and you have just greatly increased the odds of landing the job you want.
Happy hunting, and happy holidays.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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