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5 Myths of Holiday Job Searching

5 Myths of Holiday Job Searching

Rob Taub

December 07, 2010

When people consider the “holiday job search” many will use “The Holiday” as a reason not to look for employment, for they believe no one gets hired during the holidays. I once heard it described as a scene out of Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” where a job seeker is trudging through the snow, pausing now and then to press his face to a window where he sees inside happily employed people celebrating their jobs. Sadly, he ends up a sidewalk vendor standing knee-deep in snow selling apples. It is my experience as an executive and consultant in the career marketing business for 25 years the image he might see would be job seekers celebrating the jobs they landed during the holidays!

I have found December was a very stressful month. Not because “nobody hires in December, but because there was a short window of opportunity and we needed to be prepared when it opened. One company executive from a prominent Boston financial firm said this: “If I want to get great talent I’ll wait till right after the holidays and entice them with signing on before the 1st when I can grandfather them in before the new budgets are enacted.” You see, while the job seeker is whining “where are all the jobs” the employer is whining “where are the good people” and when the two meet it’s a great chemistry.

It’s no exaggeration to say execs often make job offers during the holidays and come in to work on a non-holiday to do the paperwork so an employee could start January 2! Furthermore, since most job seekers do not believe they can succeed during the holidays there are much fewer people looking and consequently a higher percentage of job seekers find positions during that time than during other times of the year – it stands to reason. If someone advises you to take the month off, don’t listen. Let them take it off and there will be one less person competing.

Along with the misconception or fallacy that “nobody hires in December,” I’ve listed for you some other fallacies, which like myths are misleading if you take them for real. Consider the following:

Myth 1: Nobody hires in December.

As I described above, December can be more hectic for the job seeker for the window shuts quickly, but it’s still a month employees are being paid to work. There is a also a sense of urgency among companies to meet budget deadlines, to spend money before the year ends, and fill recruitment needs with the money before it’s gone…all very good for the job seeker. Too, executive recruiters are paid a higher percentage of commission towards the end of the year which helps job seekers. Finally there are always those strong companies that want to start off the New Year with a bang! That could mean “juicing up” their sales forces or other teams; and once more, opportunities for the job seeker.


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