Seasonal celebrations and sector slowdowns mean many a job hunter puts off looking for a new job till the New Year. But as every business guru will tell you the time to make the move is when others are not.
So why wait till January or February when everyone else is on the hunt too? What’s more could December’s unique brand of magic actually put you at an advantage? Here’s what our consultants had to say this very Q & Angel Wednesday…
1. Isn’t it better to leave job hunting to New Year?
While a lot of jobs come on the market in the New Year starting your job hunting before Christmas is smart.
Mostly everyone and everything tails off over the festive period, but so does the competition. That means your CV or application could be at the top of the pile if you take action now. In fact just getting yourself job-search ready will give you a head start come January!
2. How should we get job-search ready, then?
Maybe it’s just time to move on. But many people want to move roles because their current job is getting them down. Now it’s important to remember that job hunting has its highs, lows and plateaus. So you need to start with the right attitude.
Take time to reflect on the pros and cons of your current role. What does your work give you? On the other hand what does your job lack? Think: pay, commute, working hours, colleagues, line manager, opportunities to develop, company ethos, etc.
3. What if I’m not feeling that confident?
And if you’re not feeling good about yourself, due to a toxic work environment say, then you need to do something about it. What have you learned from the experience? What would you do differently?
Talk to someone you trust. Take a realistic look at your skills. Is there anything you could do to help cultivate confidence? You could take a course to improve certain skills, say. But it doesn’t have to be directly work-related. Think: getting a makeover (projecting a new you can be very energising) or maybe, setting yourself an exercise target.
4. OK, so I’ve got more clarity. What’s the next step?
Once you’ve got clear on what might be holding you back it’s time to get a grip on what’s driving you too. We’ve already mentioned the pros and cons at work in your current job. That info will help you get crystal clear on what you want from your career and the sort of roles you ought to go for.
Knowing more about your personality and what motivates you can help if you’re still stuck. This article on Truity personality type profiling and careers is a good read. Ultimately, knowing what you want and why helps make your job hunt laser focused.
5. This sounds like a marketing strategy. Is it?
Yep, think of your job hunt as a marketing exercise. So once you know what you want you need to say it in a concise and engaging way. Remember the elevator pitch? Well you need one of those. Consider these key points when writing yours:
- It should be 30 seconds or less.
- Your skill (or how you benefit a potential employer) should be clear.
- There should be a goal (or ask).
6. What about my CV?
And of course all this prep will help you create a well-written CV and cover letters aimed at the SPECIFIC role you’re applying for.
7. So what about personal branding?
Yes, we’ve already mentioned makeovers, but these aren’t limited to your physical appearance. Part of defining your personal brand means projecting that image in every area – particularly online. So check out your LinkedIn profile, Facebook and other feeds to make sure you’re putting your best self forward.
While all this may sound like hard work you’re actually best positioning yourself for all that seasonal socialising.
8. So how do we make Christmas work for job hunting?
Parties, gatherings and community events all provide opportunities to network and reconnect with old contacts. While you might not want to rattle off your elevator pitch here, there and everywhere, knowing what you’re looking for helps others help you.
TIP: Have a succinct and memorable line ready for when someone asks what you do.
9. What if I’m not going to any Christmas gatherings?
Don’t limit yourself to parties. Think outside the box. Things like volunteering, or seasonal work can help broaden networking circles.
TIP: Drop your recruitment consultant a line (maybe a Christmas card, even?) to let them know how your search is going.
10. Any last thoughts?
Yes. Don’t worry of you’re not ready to get out there by the run up to Christmas. Use the seasonal lull (if your sector does indeed slow down at this time of year) to do all that reflecting and focusing we’ve been talking about.
You can put feelers out at personal gatherings. The key is not to wait till New Year’s Day or even the 31st January – the most popular day of the year for people to quit their jobs according to research from Crunch Accounting!
Now over to you:
Tell us what ONE thing you’re going to do to get your job hunt going today! Want to ask about your particular job hunt issues? Got any burning questions we could put to future Q & Angel guests? As ever, we want to hear what you’ve got to say!
Some next steps: