Compiled By Yaffa Klugerman
December 29, 2009
Career experts are pointing out that contrary to popular belief, December can be the best time to find work, and job seekers should therefore keep up their hunts during the holidays.
"Many people make the crucial mistake of thinking that this is the wrong time of year to be looking for a job," said Debra Woog-McGinty, a workplace specialist who was interviewed by the Examiner. "In fact, year end is the time managers actually LIKE to look for new people."
She noted in the Examiner that offices have a slower pace at the end of the year, so hiring managers have some more time to wrap up projects. She also added that in many companies, managers are eager to take advantage of 2009 budget dollars which will only be available that year.
Dave Botempo, owner of an executive search and coaching firm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, wrote in the Philadelphia Bulletin that December can often be the best time to look for a job. "With mistaken notions about year end hiring firmly cemented in the minds of many job seekers," he explained, "competition for openings is diminished. . . . As the number of applicants goes down, your chances go up."
The Wall Street Journal notes that December is a good time to step up networking efforts by accepting invitations to holiday parties or get-togethers. But Randy Block, a California-based career-transition coach and consultant, cautioned that this is not the time to hand out resumes or talk about searching for a job. "The idea is to build relationships," he told the Journal.
Joyce A. Foster, vice president of human resources for Hilex Poly Co. LLC, a plastic film and bag manufacturer in South Carolina, advised job seekers to send greeting cards to former colleagues, friends and family, and to enclose business cards which ideally include a link to a resume. She told the Journal that this method is particularly effective because people tend to want to help others during holiday time.
"Start by wishing them happy holidays and then update them on your search," she was quoted as saying in the Journal. "It can be a quick and timely reminder for them to perhaps forward your resume to someone who might be of help."
Business Week notes that December is also a good time for MBA students to contact potential mentors or company heads for help with a job search. "Many of them give their assistants time off while they keep on working," says Business Week, "so they're likely to pick up the phone and answer your questions."
Above all, said Jackie Wilbur, director of career development at the MIT Sloan School of Management, don't give up the job search. "The worst thing anyone can do," she told Business Week, "is just sit back at this stage."