Managing Job Search Expectations During the Holidays

· by Julie Blackmon

Julie is one of our Career Transition Coaches in our Outplacement group. She brings over 10 years of recruiting experience to her role. Julie has been with HTI since 2011.
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Welcome to the busiest season of the year! Unless, you find yourself in a career transition and desperately seeking a new job. So, to help you through the holidays, here are a few tips and tricks to make it to the other side of the job search:

Use the Holiday Season to Network! 

Often times we see people in this time of year that we don’t see any other time. Whether it be accompanying a spouse to their Christmas party or the 3rd cousin you only see at your aunt’s holiday get together, every connection counts. Get comfortable with a quick 1-2 minute elevator speech where you can communicate what type of opportunity you’re looking for. It helps greatly to give the people you are talking to concrete ideas about how they can help. Remember, people want to help! But, if you say you are looking for “anything, really anything!” – people don’t know how to help you. However, if you say – “I really enjoy marketing, and I find that healthcare marketing really speaks to me. So I’m looking for healthcare marketing positions anywhere from a small private practice to a large hospital system”, that is much easier for them to process. Now, all of the sudden, they are thinking about who they know in healthcare that might be able to get you closer to your goal.

Adjust expectations

If you were searching for a job and applying to 20 jobs per week in October, and now in the holidays you can barely find 10 a week to apply to, take heart! This is NORMAL! Here are a few reasons the job search slows down:

  1. People don’t want to make a move right before all their holiday time
  2. Companies know they don’t have the right people in the office to onboard and train someone new
  3. No one wants to spend advertising dollars on new positions when their applicants are rushing around going to 10 different Christmas parties and events instead of applying.

Know that in January, when everyone returns from vacations and digs out from under their emails full of after Christmas sales, they will get back to the business of hiring.

Take a break!

Burnout is real both in your career and in searching for a job. If you really feel like you have hit a brick wall, give yourself permission to take a ‘vacation’ from searching for a job. Bake cookies with your kids, decorate your home, drive around to see Christmas lights, and revel in the season. Then, when the new year comes around – Get. To. Business. As new budgets come available, new jobs will hit the job boards. Follow up on your networking as your contacts get back in the office and always remember to keep a positive attitude.

Job searching is a process, and this time of year can be stressful for all kinds of reasons. Just remember that consistency trumps intensity and keep at it!