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Holiday Job Search: Great Time or Worst Time?

“I’ll wait until after the holidays to think about a job change - the holidays are not a good time to look for a new career.”

I get this all the time when I am talking with candidates who are under the impression that the entire business world goes into a tryptophan-induced coma after Thanksgiving. After 18 years as an executive recruiter, I can tell you that some of my best months in recruiting have been in November and December.

Why is that?

  1. Strategic Business Plans: September, October and November are months that company leaders are putting together their strategic business plans and a critical part of that is hiring. Identifying a strategic hire and having them interviewed and an offer extended before the New Year means that the candidate can give notice and start after the holidays in order to hit the ground running. Starting a search for a candidate in January could mean that the candidate doesn’t even finish the interview process for a month or two and then must give notice. By this time, a large part of the manager’s first quarter is gone.

  2. Relaxed Onboarding: Many companies would love to have a new hire start between Thanksgiving and Christmas as travel schedules are not as intense visiting clients so ramping up a new hire can have a more relaxed pace. It’s also a good time for the new hire to attend any holiday gatherings and get to know people without having to wait a whole year for the next office holiday party.

  3. Fresh Start: January is the epitome of getting a fresh start and in order to start the New Year off on a good note, that tends to start with interviews that happen in November and December.

These are just a few reasons why considering other career options during the holidays is a GREAT TIME. Self-reflection during the holidays also brings about the urge to be, do, and have more from both a personal and professional standpoint. Ask yourself this question, “If I am here in the same spot next year, will that be acceptable?” If the answer is no, it might be time to explore other opportunities. If you wait until after the holidays, that plum opportunity might be given to someone else!


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