Why the Holidays Are the Best Time to Look for a Job

A few reasons you should replace some shopping time with job-searching.

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Marty Nemko
Marty Nemko
Most people stop their job search between now and the new year. They're swamped with holiday hoohah and figure most employers are focusing more on Ho Ho Ho than Hire Hire Hire.

But here are six ring-a-ling reasons why you should replace some of your holiday-shopping time with job-search time:

1. Many employers are finalizing their 2013 budgets. Indeed, they may be under pressure to get fully staffed-up for the new year.

2. Many employers, especially in government, have use-it-or-lose-it funds. If they don't spend it by year-end, the money goes back to the general fund and the agency is criticized. (Of course, that's one of the many causes of government waste. Instead of an agency being rewarded for thriftiness, it gets punished.)

3. Most job seekers stop job-searching during the holidays. That means you're facing less competition.

4. Employers are less busy and thus more likely to answer their phones and to be in good spirits.

5. Even though holiday-temp hiring (by retailers and delivery services, for example) has long been done, such temps are notoriously unreliable—after all, they want time to prepare for the holidays—and so if eager you shows up now, you may be manna from heaven and get hired on the spot. Do a great job and you may even get kept on in January.

6. The holidays provide bountiful networking opportunities:

  • All those holiday fundraisers and parties. Should you throw one?
  • Bell-ringing, soup-serving holiday volunteer stints.
  • Your Christmas letter/e-letter. Don't forget your Facebook "Friends," LinkedIn connections and all the friends and recruiters that already have tried to help you land a job.
  • Your real friends may, at the holidays, have more time to get together for those bonding one-on-ones.
  • Just be low-key about it. Hard-selling yourself amid the holiday merriment is unseemly and makes you look desperate.

    Accelerate your job search now and, come the new year, you may land a job while your fellow job seekers are making a resolution to start looking.

    The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Dr. Nemko "The Bay Area's Best Career Coach" and he was Contributing Editor for Careers at U.S. News. His sixth and seventh books were published in 2012: How to Do Life: What They Didn't Teach You in School and What's the Big Idea? 39 Disruptive Proposals for a Better America. More than 1,000 of his published writings are free on www.martynemko.com. He posts here every Monday.