The Holiday Search: Do Job Search Dynamics Change During Holiday Seasons?

With the brrr months finally here, it’s tempting to let our job-search mindset shift into neutral. Most jobseekers wind down their intensity when it comes to seeking jobs during the last quarter of the year. However, timing is everything when it comes to job seekers and employers. A jobseeker might give up by the start of the holiday season whilst employers may be in dire need of someone when the holiday comes. Here, we discuss how the holiday seasons can play a role during your job search.

Every season is a new season

For what it’s worth, seasonality is a key factor when it comes to the workplace. At the end of the school calendar, employers will sometimes prefer new graduates over experienced professionals. It’s perfectly acceptable to take your chance and try your luck with this type of competition but when you want to catch everybody else slipping, try your chances during the holiday season instead. Students are still in class and you never know what company is in need during that given time.

The hiring process from the employer’s POV

On the other hand, these employers have a life of their own – just as we do. They aren’t immune to the holidays and best believe they’re also looking forward to getting into that holiday spirit. This is a downside when it comes to jobseekers due to the fact that resumes or applications may be sidelined or worse, neglected, with hiring personnel potentially being out of office for extensive periods of time. To avoid the possibility of your application being stacked on a desk somewhere, there’s a fine line between the holiday seasons ending and beginning, when it’s time for these employers to get back to work.

The slow hiring months

The months/seasons in which you will likely experience slower hiring are November and December. On the contrary, the most active months may be during the start of a fresh year or just right after Labor Day before the holiday months come creeping back. All in all, this doesn’t mean you won’t get hired during the holidays, nor does it mean you are certain to land a job during the remaining months – timing is everything and many factors are at play.

A jobseeker’s mindset during the holidays

There are two types of people in the job-search world: a person who’s encouraged during the holidays and a person who’s discouraged during the holidays. It’s acceptable to understand the mentality in both. After all, who can resist the holidays when everyone is spending meaningful time together and enjoying the festivities. On the other hand, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel anxious to be unemployed especially in a typically jovial time like the holiday season during the end of the year. Your mindset can certainly play a factor in your motivation, so take some time for reflection to see where you’re at. Since the holidays can be mentally and emotionally challenging for many depending on your history, when it comes to job search, be gentle with yourself and your expectations. 

Holidays can also mean networking opportunities

It’s easy to slip down into the blurriness of the holidays when there’s offerings everywhere and everyone seems to be in a relaxed mood. However, this could also be a solid opportunity to converse with existing and new family members and guests about their careers and insights. After all, your network is your net worth. Opening yourself to the opportunity to expand your network during this time is crucial. You could either start the year from scratch, or follow a lead you gained from socializing during the holidays at the start of the year – that’s some impressive multitasking!

Take advantage of slow job search seasons

Even with factors such as competition and the ongoing school calendar, there’s nothing wrong with rolling the dice and taking a chance during slow job search seasons. The worst case scenario is that your application may receive no interest, but the best case scenario will be that you can be in the right place at the right time. Again, timing is everything and you can be that one successful candidate.