Should I put my job search “in park” during the holidays? [Career Coach]

Five points to consider

Today’s topic is the result of having had several (thousand) conversations with job seekers over the last 17 years. Almost every one of them asks whether they should put their job search in park during the holidays.

woman sitting on couch
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

My answer is simple:

No! Don’t do it.

No, I’m not a “bah humbug” kind of guy. No, I’m not the holiday grinch.

Yes, I want you to enjoy your holiday season as best as you can (well, as best as possible during this pandemic).

Yes, self-care is important. Take some time, and perhaps downsift a bit. Just don’t put your job search in park during the holidays.

There is this phenomenon called momentum that comes into play when we take extended time away from our jobs.

For those of you that are still working, and for those most-recently separated, you may remember your vacations… You probably worked really hard for the 3-4 weeks in advance of the vacation to prepare for your time away, right? But it doesn’t matter. When you returned to your job, there were well over 1,000 emails in your in-box, and the paperwork had piled up. Possibly an unhappy customer or two while you were gone, due to issues you weren’t there to handle. With all of that, you worked really hard for another 3-6 weeks catching up when you got back, too.

The same thing applies in your job search process. When you are unemployed, your job is to find a job, right?

There’s another thought on this as well

During the holidays, people that are currently doing one of five things:

  1. They are getting ready to slow down themselves for the holidays
  2. They are working harder than ever to close the year on a high note
  3. If there is work that’s not getting done because there is a hole in the organization, they need help, and now!
  4. With end of year coming, the new budgets will be coming in January, and if you’re identified in late November/early December as “the” candidate, you’re in the driver’s seat
  5. When the holidays are just around the corner like now, people are in a bit better mood. Generally happier. They are in a more giving mood. A more generous mood.

That last point is the most important of all. These same people that may be too harried during the rest of the year all of a sudden remember Santa’s “good list’ and they want to make sure they are on it. In that sense then they will be more likely to make time for an Informational Interview, and possibly even quick networking coffee meetings and such.

Thought for the post

Searching for a job can easily be a 40-hour-per-week job, if you’re doing it right. Don’t fall off the wagon now.

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