Christmas season is no doubt a long break-period for most companies and their HR Professionals alike. After a tireless working-journey from January till December, it is only normal to get as much rest as one can get, pending when full work resumes in January, the following year. During this period of eating plenty of chickens and killing all the goats and rams in the community, most job seekers tend to also get carried away in this euphoria, forgetting that they don’t even have a job yet for the coming year.
The reasons for this is not far-fetched. First, most are carried away by the euphoric atmosphere that accompanies the yuletide season. Secondly, many think that during this period, most companies are not recruiting. While this second thought may be correct in some cases, it is not in some others. A company in need of an employee will employ, no matter what season it is. Work must be done. Especially for companies which do not go for full-break during this Christmas period.
Now, while some HR professionals recruiting for their companies may go on full break, this should not be the case of job-seekers. Otherwise, when the reality of January dawns, the pressure can be too much. These are the reasons why Christmas period is the best time for job search;
With Christmas just around the corner, many job-seekers may want to ask, “Should I stop looking for a job during this period and just wait till January?”
Of course Christmas and the holiday period is a wonderful time to take a break, relax and enjoy your family and friends, and hiring traditionally slows down at this time of year. However, the hiring process has not completely ground to a halt. Hiring is still happening! Companies are looking to fill not just seasonal positions, but for some companies, the hiring budgets will reset before January and they will already be thinking about using up the budgets set aside for recruitments before the New Year’s budget.
Specifically, some industries make it customary to hire over the festive season. Hospitality, tourism, and retailing are at their peak over Christmas and New Year which makes it a great time for jobseekers to be onsite looking and applying for opportunities. The top categories in South-Africa, for these industries are chefs and cooks, management and waiting staff, retail assistants, store management and department management.
Capetown, Johannesburg, Pretorial, Durban and other hospitality-driven states in South-Africa, usually shows the greatest demand for these category of staff during this period.
If you want, you can be completely justified in deciding to take a break from your job hunt over this festive period. But, equally, if you want to get a job soonest, you might need to keep the momentum going and get a head start over other job seekers who will most likely start by January.
The most important thing to remember is to use your time and focus your efforts on reaping the highest benefit. For some, taking a well-deserved break will be just what’s needed to put you in the right frame of mind to hit the job search process again in the New Year. For others who prefer to keep going, the down time before and immediately after Christmas Day is the perfect time to re-assess your strategy and put things in motion for January.
Also, you can avoid the usual January panic if you keep going and maintain momentum during this holiday season. The New Year is always full of reminders to start afresh, to think about a ‘new career in the New Year’, turn over a new leaf and set new career goals. If you keep up your job search efforts through the holiday period, and you will be ahead of the game by the time others are making their first calls.
For the few positions that would be available during this Christmas period, one thing that is sure about them all is that, there would be less job-seekers pursuing them unlike the usual. Thus, you will have less competitors. The reason for this is simple, many job seekers stop actively looking for jobs around the holidays. If you continue, you will have less competition for the openings you find. If you don’t, then get ready to resume with the mass job-seekers in the fierce search by January.
So know this: there’s less competition right now for any company who is on the lookout for new hires.
Take advantage of the holiday spirit. Everyone seems a little happier and friendlier during this time of year, so use that to your advantage of any opportunity you get especially as regards seeking for jobs. If you get an interview during this period, tendencies are that the recruiter would take you. Recruitment process might not even be as tedious for some companies as it usually is. It may involve less interview questions and all forms of complexities that usually exists in a typical recruitment process.
So take advantage of this seemingly happy mood of employers and land yourself that dream job.
Hiring managers are easier to reach during Christmas period. They might not be travelling as much as usual as the holidays approach. It’s more likely that they are finishing up on projects, catching up on administration before the holidays, meeting with colleagues and attending holiday gatherings.
And while some may take some time off between Christmas and the New Year, plenty will still be in work, or checking emails at home, so you could still catch them if you’re making contact. Also as many businesses and job seekers do take time off, they will have fewer emails to answer.
Christmas period gives you more networking opportunities. You couldn’t pick a better time of year for networking. Those parties are prime networking opportunities. You don't want to make every conversation about your job search—but letting people know how they can help you is crucial. And try to keep things positive. For instance, when you tell people you are looking for a job, also tell them how you have been productive with your time off.
There are many social and business holiday functions during this period when you can connect with people who can help your job search. It’s easier finding people who are more willing to help this period. Remember that all the Christmas parties will give you the opportunity to meet new people and expand your professional network. So keep an open mind (and ears) when attending events. Take this year’s opportunity, as next Christmas is next year. Obviously!
Christmas is a great time to reflect and give back. Volunteering looks good on your resume and it can also be a valuable source of new skills and experience. Likewise working part-time, or setting up a business on the side of your day job can lead to new openings.
A Temporary Job Could Become Permanent. If you are hired for a temporary holiday season job, you could get to keep it. Companies typically keep some of the temporal or contract staff they hire for the holidays, and you could be one of them if you make a good impression on your employer.
Christmas period, offers job-seekers the opportunity to boost their job search knowledge by reading career transition books and blogs articles that helps to be well-prepared to market oneself effectively when 2018 arrives.
To this effect, we have put together a collection of the Top 100 Blogs for 2018 to follow in this coming year. Do well to take advantage of the materials and resources given by these career blogs for your smoother job search or career pursuit in 2018.
From all of the above, it has become obvious of the series of opportunities that exist even in this Christmas season. So there is so many things you can do during this period if you wish to keep the momentum going in your job search. In addition, most jobs gotten this period would require resumption by January, 2018. This will give you enough time to prepare yourself for the tasks ahead, unlike other periods when you get an offer and you are expected to resume in a few days.
The choice is yours.
We look forward to hearing what your plans are for 2018 and also what is working for you.
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