If you start your job search now, you’ll take advantage of companies’ needs for quick hiring before the holiday season slows down. If you miss this opportunity, position yourself to be ahead of the crowd early next year.
The weather is both exciting and challenging for job seekers. There are only two months left in 2022. Historically, once Thanksgiving approaches, the hiring process begins to grind to a halt. It’s one of the few times of the year when Americans collectively agree on one thing: They take time off from work and focus on family, friends and social activities. After being cooped up at home, people will be more eager than ever to take long vacations and long weekends.
You want to be confrontational. This leads to some delayed gratification. Stay the course while most other job seekers take time off during the holidays. With fewer people applying for jobs and interviews, you’ll stand out.
The odds will turn in your favor if you keep pushing. It’s a numbers game. If you’re constantly sending resumes to target companies, getting job leads from your network, and contributing content to LinkedIn to get noticed, you’re more likely to land interviews that lead to a job offer.
This may seem harsh, but there will always be some bosses who are desperate to hire someone fast. They’ll lower their demands, increase compensation, and agree to your work style preferences, including working from home as a lure. By being persistent, you could find yourself in the right place at the right time, leading to a job offer you never thought possible.
The challenges you will face
It becomes more difficult to secure new work as vacation schedules and personal days are taken, making the hiring process cumbersome and inconsistent. The HR person is absent when you are available for an interview. When the HR representative returns, the businessmen you were supposed to meet with are gone. The in and out of workers involved in the hiring process creates a loss of momentum. Other year-end corporate priorities begin to take precedence over the recruiting and onboarding process.
During the last few months of the year, businesses begin to focus on closing their books. They conduct annual reviews, determine who will get a promotion or raise and those slated for layoffs, and begin work on the new budget and staff allocation for 2023.
Many white-collar professionals receive bonuses and stock in addition to their base salary. During this time of belt-tightening, corporate management is reluctant to buy out five-figure bonuses and stock options to entice job seekers to leave their current employer. Their rationalization is that it is wise to wait until applicants receive their bonuses and new salary numbers.
Once a job seeker knows their number, they will either immediately begin a job search, feeling disrespected by the lackluster overall rewards package, or happily stay with their company because their needs have been met.
Sometimes companies have a “use it or lose it” budget. Management allocates a certain amount of funds to hire new staff. If the supervisors do not hire in 2022, bosses will argue that the open jobs are not mission critical and withdraw the job postings. Smart, experienced managers understand the game and will aggressively look to see if they can hire someone quickly. Otherwise, they will lose the budget for next year.
Focusing on finding a job in early January
Despite the awkwardness of November, December, and early January, it makes sense to keep interviewing. You should be mentally prepared that most jobs will remain until mid-January 2023. What you’re hoping for is that there will be at least a small number of vacancies that managers are eager to fill.
Instead of standing by, act. The holiday season is a great time to rekindle old relationships. Connect with former colleagues, college alumni, people in your community, people you’ve met online, and more to build your network. One of the best ways to find a job is not to answer a job ad, but to have a company insider recommend you for the role.
Look for employees who are active in your field. You want them to know everything about you. Sell them your talents, experience, work history, track record, emotional intelligence and communication skills. Since most headhunters work on contingency searches, they only get paid if they successfully find you. The recruiter is therefore highly incentivized to extol your virtues and aggressively introduce you to their clients.
Everyone has areas where they can improve. Find a mentor to help you put together a plan to accelerate your career. They could offer advice and guidance during your job and career search. Use the services of career coaches and resume writers. You can find them on LinkedIn. These career experts provide interview advice, ensure your resume looks current and clear, help role-play an interview scenario, and offer constructive criticism and feedback.
Write an elevator plan. Like a compelling TV or radio ad, you want to be able to deliver your value proposition in a tight, upbeat, excited 30-second-to-a-minute commercial. It is also similar to when a politician gives his stupid speech with the same talking points.
The goal is to clearly and concisely suggest what roles you’ve held at your current or previous company, some of your major accomplishments, and how your experience, talents, education, and skills are a perfect fit for the job. Speak with enthusiasm, but not too much.
Also, look online for frequently asked questions by interviewers. Then practice meeting the standard “Why do you want this job? Why should I hire you over other applicants? Can you tell me about yourself? Where do you see yourself in five years?”