- Most job seekers aren’t aware that looking for work in December can be a huge advantage.
- But December actually the perfect time to seek out new employment.
- There’s less competition, and more time for recruiters to get to know you.
- Most importantly, there stands a better chance for you to land that perfect job.
Well folks, it’s the holidays! That’s right; the holidays, which for many is a time of great cheer and fun. People get to hang out with their loved ones and friends, imbibe in copious amounts of food, drink and other substances, as well as receive long-wished-for items gifted by anyone from Aunt Suzy to Santa himself.
While the holidays provide a great atmosphere with good times, these same end-of-year festivities can also represent a perilous existence for employees, particularly those who have recently been let go from their jobs. To be sure, no one likes being laid off, even if that layoff provides an ample amount of restitution which on first glance, might fool a former employee into thinking the extra $2,000-$3,000 (or more) in their severance package will be enough to see them through to their next job.
Well, in almost every case, that two or three grand in compensation may last a month at best, particularly when monthly bills are factored in, as well as past debt of any sort from college or an old loan.
Of course, what this means, particularly with December, is that you need to quickly find a job; the sooner, in fact, the better. What you may not know is how much potential job searching luck exists for you simply because it is December.
Dubious of these words, are you? You’re not certain job searching in December while everyone else is preoccupied with the holidays will be the most fruitful endeavor, right?
Searching for a job in December is like giving your job search its own holiday present simply because few others are searching for a job during this time, giving you a leg up on the competition. What you need to do is stay active with your search, and remain positive about the results whether they are good or bad.
Sound easy? Well, it will be after you finish reading this article in which you will learn that December is one of the best times of year to find a job.
Why are there so many firings in December?
December may be good for retail, what with the Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday action both online and within brick and mortar stores. What December isn’t good for are businesses that find themselves more in the red than black as far as their bottom line is concerned.
The results of a business not reaching its projected year-end goals in profitability will invariably entail a cull of its employees. Undoubtedly the first to go are:
- Contractors or temporary employees
- Part-time employees
- Recent hires
- Whole departments
The holiday season gives businesses a chance to regroup and review. They can analyze their bottom line, find where they fell short, and from that point decipher, if need be, how many employees or departments they need to eliminate.
In an article that appeared on Fast Company.com, hiring experts agree that December firings are simply part of today’s working world.
The vast majority of organizations run on a calendar year budget, explains Steve Spires, a managing director of outplacement solutions with BPI group. In Spires’ view, year-end coincides with the need to achieve year-end numbers.
“Business cycles are agnostic, and focused on results without bias, emotion, nor sentimentality,” says Jason Hanold, managing partner at executive search firm Hanold Associates.
Because companies may want to go into the next year with a fresh start, explains Mary Ellen Stayter, a career expert for Monster.com, being leaner can mean cutting costs by laying off employees.
The goal for any business is to start the new quarter, which is January, with a clean, lean and smoothed-out business model that will hopefully attract new and existing investors. This can never happen if the company does not recognize its own employee excess, departmental shortcomings or just a simple inability to be as profitable as expected.
The one thing you as a worker (now job seeker) have to understand is that being laid off, particularly in December, is not your fault. If you came into work each day, did the best you possibly could, got along with everyone and supported your former company, you fulfilled your end of your work agreement.
You did your job, and now that you’ve been terminated – as have many other employees – you nonetheless have nothing to feel ashamed of. This is business; nothing more, nothing less, and in particular nothing personal.
So why is December such a great month to find a job?
Experienced employment recruiters work holidays. The reason experienced employment recruiters do this is because they know that if they only receive one positive prospect for an open job, their work has, for the most part, been successful.
As to job seekers, those who have experience looking for jobs as well as an overwhelming desire to find that perfect job understand that job openings are not seasonal. On the contrary, good jobs with abundant room for advancement and a strong brace of benefits are difficult to come by. And, if those types of jobs do surface, they will be scooped up in a matter of days, if not hours.
Like the serious recruiters, the serious job seekers are online, networking, updating their social media presence as well as their resume throughout the year, including during the holiday season. Neither the serious recruiter nor the serious job seeker work any less vigorously when it comes to their positions within the workplace, including December.
So, why is December such a promising time for the recruiter and the seeker? Simple, it is because there are less of both.
- Less recruiters (i.e. less competition)
- Less job seekers (i.e. less competition)
This typifies Reason #1 as to why December is the perfect time of year to look for a job.
- Less competition: the average job seeker is just that; a job seeker. They look to employment as, at the very most, a means to an end. Go to work, do what is asked, collect a paycheck, then go home. As far as the holiday season is concerned, serious and exceptional recruiters will never hear from people like this.
At the same time, the exceptional job seeker realizes the average job seeker is…um…preoccupied. They’re decorating Christmas trees, wrapping presents, baking cookies, spiking eggnog, stalking people to kiss under the mistletoe, or passed out on the sofa from too much Xmas cheer.
The exceptional job seeker knows to take advantage of this. They realize that there’s less of “you” out there and more of “them” (which isn’t that great a number to begin with), which in the end means less competition.
Exceptional as this type of job seeker is, they will come no less prepared for a job interview than at any other time of the year. The difference with the holidays is the exceptional job seeker knows they will stand out that much more in lieu of less “average” competition, and with that be more likely to land the job they want.
- December provides you a better opportunity to show off your skills: During any other time of year when companies have job openings, a recruiter can receive hundreds, if not thousands of job applications. Funnel that down to 100 or so candidates selected for personal interviews, and in no time, that recruiter could be overwhelmed and knocking their head against the wall.
The beauty of job searching in December is with less people on the job hunt, you will get to an opportunity to uncover your job skills to the recruiter. You and the recruiter can have longer conversations about the job, its details and requirements, while you’ll have a chance to make a stronger case for yourself as the perfect employee for the open position you desire.
- In December, there are less people looking for a job.
- If there are less people looking for a job, you have a better chance of landing a good, if not better job.
- Forward-thinking (and confident) companies are always ahead of schedule – in everything: To common job seekers the subhead title for this section may mean nothing. But to the experienced exceptional job seeker, this can mean everything in their job search.
Exceptional job seekers realize the importance, not to mention, rarity of a company that plans far into the future. Like ho-hum job seekers, ho-hum companies are off on holiday, partying it up and having a good time.
Forward-thinking companies are doing the opposite; they’re not partying it up, they are stocking up, particularly by filling open positions and rechecking their business plans. They see an opportunity to hit the ground running come January 1st, and between December and the New Year, understand that they have a nice window of time to hire good candidates, adequately train them, and have them up to speed with the rest of the company by the first work week in January.
Conclusion: By filling their open positions “off season,” success-oriented companies will have a jump on their competition. And if you’re an exceptional job seeker who happens to land a job with this type of company, you’ll be right there, alongside your new company, jumping the competition with them.
- Everyone knows who is who: Don’t think for a moment that if you’re out meeting with recruiters at the same time other potential job seekers are stuck in mall parking lots, that you’re not marked as a serious job candidate. Instead of having done nothing to advance their careers, serious job recruiters will regard you much differently than they will the average I-Want-a-Job candidate.
More than likely, they will go the extra distance with you, your resume and your qualifications. They will find you to be a jewel in the rough snows of December who got into a tie and jacket to embark on a serious job hunt as opposed to someone who pulled an ugly-assed Xmas sweater over their head that looks as if someone vomited HO-HO-HO across its front.
Seriously, it’s a win-win: The exceptional and serious job recruiter will recognize you as an exceptional and serious job seeker. That alone can bring you higher up in the “consideration” column for an open position.
In fact, if the company who is sponsoring the job opening is on a fast-track to get its open positions filled by the first week of January, it is highly likely that you will get the job you’re interviewing for here in December.
- Positive recognition once the position is yours: Jobs and job reviews really don’t begin once an employee starts their new position. Insight into the job and how you will perform at that job begins during the interview process.
At that time, the recruiter, hiring manager and your immediate report, to name a few people, may meet with you. And at the very beginning of a handshake, these individuals may already be assessing you and your abilities.
As intangible as it may seem now, job interviewing in December can make a very strong impression with the management that oversees the position for which you are applying.
Much like the exceptional recruiter, these supervisors and managers may see “one of us” in you; a serious candidate who is very likely a serious worker simply because of when they applied – in December.
Camaraderie is immediately struck. They see a little bit of them in you. Already the decision makers realize that you’ll be a strong addition to their workforce. Not only does the company need you, as importantly those who already work for the company and have its best interest in mind will get a serious hard-working vibe from you, and with that, more likely hire you on the spot.
Simply put, December can suck. No two ways about it, the month can be a strenuous exercise in face-palming when you as a job seeker realize either you are or may soon be out of work, particularly when you have an overheated Christmas credit card debt setting your wallet ablaze and leaving third-degree burns to your finances.
At least that’s the case with an increasing number of American workers who, in all truth, do not and probably never will control their own employment destiny.
You, on the other hand, as an exceptional job seeker, stand a much better chance if you only use slightly better timing.
If not this year, be sure during the following year to (if need be) begin your job search early in the latter part of the year. Revise and distribute your resume by Halloween, and complete your networking responsibilities by Thanksgiving. After that, use December to meet with recruiters to showcase your skills and talents. You’ll have less competition for the job you seek, and a raised level of respect from not just the recruiter, but those who work with the company itself, all of this occurring simply because you took the initiative to look for work in December.
What else can be said other than Good Job!
See the following articles for more information:
- The Importance of a Positive Mindset During Your Job Search
- The Best Cities For Job Seekers: What Cities Are Trending And How To Expand Your Search
- Why You Should Change Jobs Every 3 To 5 Years