Most people think that the best time to look for a new job is when you’re unhappy. The surprising truth is that the opposite is true.
“The best time to look for a new job is when you’re happy.” Click here to tweet this now!
If you’re employed and content, now’s the time to have a think about where you want to be in the year ahead. If you’re deep within the job search you may start to feel a little hopeless because after all, who’s going to be reviewing resumes when there are office holiday parties to plan for, right? WRONG. I know all too well how the avalanche to negativity town works so if you’re starting to feel a bit petered out and planning on calling it quits until after the holidays, STOP.
The holidays can be a great time to job search and gear up for the post-holiday hiring rush and NOW is the time to lay the groundwork for landing your next job. Here are some strategies for gearing up your holiday job search, starting now:
1. Get Your Head Back in the Game
The job search is the opposite of “confidence booster” and if you’ve been struggling to land something since summer, you’re probably feeling down on yourself. It’s no wonder you don’t feel like networking, interviewing or anything else that requires you to sell yourself with confidence. The truth is your mental game is so important in sending the right vibes to those in a position to help you. (No one wants to hire a Downer Debbie). Therefore you have to find a way to shake it off, get positive and remember who you were before you ended up in this slump.
Here’s one way to change your mindset when it comes to rebuilding positivity. Make a list of the things you enjoy and start to do them again. Even watching a comedy and laughing can help you to forget about your job search woes. Really work at your mental game because you are going to need it if you don’t want to sabotage yourself when it comes time to interview.
2. Re-evaluate Your Goals
In my experience coaching people on how to get unstuck in the job search, I’ve noticed that the biggest problem is oftentimes the lack of clarity around where the job seeker is headed. Usually this is the result of spending too much time on job boards weeding out job descriptions rather than focusing on the more strategic actions needed to make traction towards the end goal. If you can’t say with 100% certainty what you’re going after that’s the first sign of your goal being unclear. If you do have an idea of your end goal focus on identifying every single opportunity that exists for your profile within the realm of that goal and get ready to pounce.
3. Re-evaluate Your Plan
When the goal is unclear, so is the plan. Once you’ve identified the end goal, go back to the drawing board and create your roadmap for getting there. Try some of these ideas for achieving your career goals. Figure out everything you need to do to be in the right place in a few months whether it’s lining up informational interviews each week, gaining experience around a skill you’re lacking or simply spending more time on the areas of the job search that are tripping you up (interviewing, elevator pitch, etc.). Checking off the task-list in your plan each day/week will help you rebuild your confidence during the holidays and also have you ramping up for go-time in January (or sooner).
4. Network, Network, Network
It’s all about who you know and the holidays are a great time for making new contacts with all the holiday parties, family gatherings and social affairs. Embrace every opportunity to make new contacts and put yourself out there because you never know who will be able to help you once the holidays have passed.
5. Take an Honest Look at Your Resume & Linkedin Profile
If you’ve been having doubts about yourself on paper, now’s the time to take another look and apply some brand strategy. Even if your friends & family think your resume looks good you’ll want to seek outside feedback from someone who has actually hired for the type of role to which you are targeting. (BTW we also provide resume feedback if you’re not sure who to recruit for this task). The truth is: you may be the most qualified person for the job but if your professional brand is off, you’ll get passed over like the rest of the resumes on the pile. Try these pointers for fixing a confusing resume brand. Whatever your approach, don’t overlook the opportunity to really clean up your brand during the holiday hiring slow-down.
6. Line Up the Support You Need
If you feel like you’re doing everything right and you’re still not making any progress, it may be time to seek professional help. This is a critical time of year and sometimes a career coach or resume writer is quite simply the best (and quickest) way to receive total peace of mind. The investment will pay off when you find yourself in a new job shortly after the holidays AND in some cases your job search expense may be tax deductible.
What strategies have you applied to your holiday job search to help you land something shortly after the holiday season? Share in the comments below and help someone from your experience!