Five Tips for Job Hunting Over the Holidays

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The holiday season is upon us. Many companies are gearing up for the New Year with new budgets and plans for new hires. Even with economic headwinds, which may reduce the number of new hires, companies are planning now for staffing in the new year.

Many candidates think that companies don’t hire during the holidays, so they take a break from their career search. What’s the best way you can supercharge your job search during the holidays?

If you’re thinking about a career move, here are 5 tips for job hunting over the holidays.

1. Prioritize what’s important.

Take a minute to evaluate your current work situation and your desired work situation. What would you change about your current job to make it an ideal job? What’s the most important thing to you? Is it the culture? Compensation package? Location or in-office requirement? Industry? Title?

Whatever it is, make sure that you are really thinking about the things that creatively inspire you and that you truly enjoy doing the functions of the role. If you’re not sure, take free skills assessments and know the types of jobs that really match your inner desires.

[There are more important things than money for employee satisfaction and retention]

Don’t make the mistake rushing through this process of identifying your priorities.

Many candidates jump quickly for a 15% or more bump in pay but quickly realize that the grass isn’t always greener at a new employer. It’s why there are so many employees now returning to jobs that they left. After all, who you work for, your direct boss, makes a huge impact on employee satisfaction.

[Boomerang employees are back in force]

2. Set new goals.

After you have sifted through your priorities, set goals for that next career move. What do you want to accomplish and within what time frame?

Identify companies that match your priorities and learn what the pressing issues are for them. Read their SEC filings, watch investor presentations or webinars, and learn as much as you can about their competitors, products, and growth plans.

When you have your list of target companies, plan for how you are going to reach your goals to achieve your desired result. When setting your goals, use the SMART method.

Make your goals:

A. Specific
B. Measurable
C. Achievable
D. Relevant
E. Timely

[Characteristics of Successful Goal Setting]

3. Network.

Now that you have your target companies identified, plan how you will make inroads into their organization. Do you have common connections to their executives on LinkedIn? Are you members of a marketing organization or other group where your target contacts participate? Is there any social media presence that these contacts have where you can re-post, repurpose, or comment on to begin engagement?

Use your imagination and think of authentic ways that you would want to be contacted if the roles were reversed. Think of how you can add value to the connection/conversation versus just what you can get out of it.

Don’t be afraid to reach out during the holidays. Many executives will check their emails and voicemails during their downtime and your message just might get through at the right time.

[Network Like A Boss and Land A Job]

As executive marketing recruiters, we know that many of the top jobs go unpublished or unadvertised. So, make sure that in your networking plans, that you have reached out to executive recruiters to give yourself more visibility. And if you are contacted by a recruiter for a role that’s not a fit for you, then try to assist with recommendations from your network. Paying it forward is always a good idea.

4. Learn new skills.

You’d be surprised at how learning new skills can add to your creativity and your brain muscle. It’s like working out, it’s hard to prioritize the time to make the effort, but once you do it, you’ll feel better and become better because of it.

There are plenty of free tools, webinars, and white papers that you can find with a quick Google search. You can also take certification and skills assessment on LinkedIn that you can post to your profile which recruiters can take note of.

If you’re a paid member of LinkedIn, there are additional tools and classes you can take through LinkedIn Learning to increase your skills.

And there are a wide variety of options in MasterClass which might not be as skill-focused but will certainly help your overall mental state.

5. Relax

Use the holidays as a time to re-charge and unplug. Giving yourself the mental break may be just want you need to approach your career in a whole new light. You may realize that you are exactly where you should be… or you may realize that when you make yourself and your family the priority, that you need to make a change sooner rather than later.

Don’t focus on the negative news reports about companies laying off employees and the tough economy. There may bumps in the economy but there are always opportunities. Do all you can to hone your skills and reach out to those in a position to hire you.

When it comes time to interview, brush up on your interviewing skills. MarketPro offers a series of free videos that can help you prepare. Most of all stay positive, take walks, and keep your physical and mental health in top shape!

MarketPro Inc.MarketPro Inc. is the leading high-end marketing executive search firm delivering top-performing innovative marketers. As a team of former marketing professionals, we are uniquely qualified to separate “A” players from everyone else. Celebrating our 26th year, we are a certified woman-owned business with headquarters in Atlanta and clients nationwide. LinkedIn.