The holidays are often a time for a mental break from all the hard work we’ve put into our jobs throughout the past year. But if your only job right now is looking for a job, you can’t afford to mentally check out.
Believe it or not, the holidays are actually one of the best times to conduct a job search. Here’s why:
1. Time to reflect during the holidays
The close of the year is a good time to reflect back on what you’ve accomplished the previous twelve months.
Focusing on what you’ve accomplished will boost your confidence in your abilities. It will also provide you with ideas of things to add to your resume.
2. Networking opportunities during the holidays
Holiday parties and events are great places to reconnect with people in your network and to meet new people. But be very careful not to make people feel like they’re being networked! Instead, focus on developing and maintaining your professional relationships. (See my blog post entitled “How to Be Realistic About Networking“.)
Remember to also go easy on the eggnog when attending holiday events. You don’t want to tarnish your job search by developing a negative reputation people will remember long after you’ve recycled your Christmas tree.
3. Holiday deals on interview attire
Day-after-Christmas sales are a great time to find a quality interview suit at an affordable price. It’s also a good time to try on suits since you’re likely to be at your heaviest weight then. You can always tailor down if necessary (because you can’t tailor up!). Most department stores provide free alterations with purchase.
When friends and family ask you what you’d like for Christmas, tell them you’d like department store gift cards or cash so you can pay for you new interview attire.
4. Prepare for an interview in the new year
The new year is when many job opportunities come open. This means you need to be prepared for interviews as early as the first week in January. Preparing for job interviews takes time since you have to conduct research on the industry, the companies you’re interested in, and yourself.
You’ll need to research industry trends and issues, company culture and mission, and how your skills and past experience line up with the skills in the job ad. Use any available down time you have during the holidays to do your research.
You’ll also want to use this time to prepare your answers to behavioral interview questions and other commonly asked questions. I recommend the online tutorial Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety to help you get ready for the interviews you’ll have in the new year.
The holidays can be stressful. But being unprepared for an interview can be even more stressful, especially if you’ve used the holidays as an excuse to slack off during your job search.
As with anything, make sure you find balance. Schedule a certain amount of time for your job search (at least 20 hours per week). Then, prioritize your remaining time for what’s most important: family and thanksgiving.
- The 12 Most Purposeful Things You Can Do This Christmas
- How to Make 2019 The Year of No Regrets
- How This Client Landed Her Dream Job (And How You Can Too!)