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December job search, believing the hype is for losers

December Job Search

I bet she doesn’t quit her diet in December

December Job Search

It seems this is the season where I hear a consistent theme from folks I run into.  During the holidays, I hear of plans to take a break from two common activities. Both require absolute discipline: diets and the job search. 

The Diet:

“I am going to be eating so much during the holidays. I am going to take a break from my diet. My diet will start back up after the new year.” I understand the mentality here, but add-on one more sentence, and you don’t sound like you have given up on a hopeless cause:  “I am going to kick my exercise level up a notch in January.”  Just because the circumstances aren’t perfect doesn’t mean we need to give up. 

Which brings me to item number two:  The December Job Search 

“No companies are hiring during the holidays, so I am going to stop looking for a job and start the search back up again in the New Year.”  Bullshit.  Call me a dick, but when I hear this, I immediately think that this person doesn’t really need a job, is lazy, or just doesn’t know any better.  I am not able to do much about the first two, but let me clear the air on the last piece of misinformation.  If you want a job, you are not going to let a few folks going on vacation stop you.  You are not going to let anything stop you.   

Hiring doesn’t stop in December and if you think it does, this is an exscuse  

Putting a job search on hold in December is a mistake.  There are plenty of jobs to be had during December, and the hiring process doesn’t stop.  If anything, there is just less competition because of all of the non-believers.  A few reasons why you should continue with a December job search:    

I will be recruiting all through December.  

Some positions were NOT filled during November that needs to be filled in December.  Positions are coming up in January that I would love to make some headway on.  Things may “slow down” but that isn’t because the company doesn’t have any open positions.  It is because I still need to coordinate schedules with a hiring loop. Some of these folks will be taking vacations over the next 45 days.  It doesn’t mean we have stopped hiring, it doesn’t mean business stops, and doesn’t mean we are not interviewing.  We may slow down just a bit, but a 4-6 week process in normal times is only becoming a 5-7 week process.  The business continues. We are interviewing. We are hiring.

I know that I will have positions to fill in January

I may have an idea of what is coming up in February.   If I work for a larger company, I may know what positions are coming up 3-4 months out just based on department budgets.  The candidate may not have a start date until February, but this is OK. I can start conversations with a candidate in December for a February close.  (I don’t like to extend offers for jobs starting 2 months out because too much can happen in those 60 days with the candidate, hiring manager, or company).  The bottom line here is that I always want to get candidates engaged and excited about ACME Publishing.   

Foot in the door

A job as a seasonal or temporary worker is a great foot in the door.  Employment-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas forecast retail payrolls to increase by 700,000 jobs during the final three months of 2012, up from the 660,200 seasonal jobs added during last year’s fourth quarter. 

Some poo-poo seasonal or temporary work, and others may feel it comes with a stigma.  If anything has a stigma, that is insecurity talking.  Let me be the first to say that there are a lot of folks who prefer “contractor” work. These folks love the freedom to experience different companies and not be committed to a company long-term.  Personally, I look at it as a foot in the door and know of a lot of companies that convert contractors to full-time employees.  The mistake I see many temporary workers make is that they fail to take the initiative.  The best thing a temporary employee can do is to let the hiring manager know that you are interested in long-term employment. 

Upcoming positions we are not aware of

They may not have an immediate opening, but they may have one coming up. We may know of another opening in a different department within the company.  Just don’t let your intentions be known on your first day or your first week.  That just looks desperate and dysfunctional.  Establish yourself first as a solid employee and make sure you like the place.  Explain why you like the company and what you like about the job.  Just explaining to your manager, “If an opening were to come up, I would be interested,” isn’t going to cut it.  It would fall short in an interview, and it will die on the vine here as well. 

Think about it.  If you know you have an opening coming up and you see a great temporary worker in front of you, wouldn’t you want to just hire them? This is easier than going through the process of interviewing, hiring, and training someone new?

So, if you are thinking about putting your job search on hold, think again.  The same amount of openings exists, and there is less pressure because many candidates take the easy way out and believe the hype when it comes to the December job search.

See you at the after-party,


nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, ridiculously good, tricky, and manipulative, but with the result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone good at something. “He has a nasty forkball.”

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