Job search in December can be challenging and I hear your frustration of trying to keep looking despite what appears to be a slow hiring time. There is no doubt that some companies will put the hiring process or the interview process on the back burner, but there are others that may not.
To minimize the frustration, I believe in strategic job search. Firing off a hundred resumes right now and seeing what will stick is not my idea of strategic. I don’t know why I always picture that process is like spaghetti being thrown at a wall, if it is done properly it just may stick but if it is not, it will fall to the floor. A big mess and may I say not very appetizing. But, I digress.
A good strategy can start with proper planning, with a path that is created from the the future to the present. This normally requires some up front research. Think of it this way; you wouldn’t buy a house, a car, or plan a vacation without doing your research. You may have a vision of what you want in the not so distant future and you work from there to create it. Spending the necessary time determining what your requirements are, what is available and how to work towards a successful outcome, all stems from your detective work.
Become an investigative reporter, create questions that need to be answered and contact people in the know. I would suggest being selective as to who you will speak with, as this is a big deal and you want to make sure the advice you are receiving is reputable, with no hidden agenda.
Ask yourself “why don’t I afford the same due diligence to my career and job search that I do to buying my car or anything else?” After all without a solid career, the house, car and vacation time is difficult to afford.
So, if December seems a little slow in the department of hits on your job search, use it as a time for research and setting up appointments to meet with people in the new year. Research companies, as there are plenty of resources in which to do that these days. Online being the most popular, community directories and also don’t forget your local Chamber of Commerce or similar link to the business community, if anybody knows who is in or coming to your city it is probably them. Gather information and pull together a file on companies of interest, this is a proactive stance at time when things seem stagnant.
If you are in need of employment right now, realize that nothing is beneath us, we are all in service to each other no matter what we do and if you need to make ends meet, do so now! Be honest with people, let them know you are available and if there is anything that comes up you are willing to work. There are lots of establishments that you may frequent that could provide an opening, your familiarity alone makes you a good candidate. There are companies that pride themselves on the diversity of their staff, no age or background restrictions, Home Depot comes to mind, many clients I have known have found an open door in places such as that.
Temporary work is OK, to keep a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Two jobs to fill the place of that elusive full time opportunity. December and the beginning of the new year can be slow or maybe not. The job you may have in these weeks encompasses research, networking, establishing meetings for January, just plain old preparation.
Start January ready, optimistic and with all of the things you need in place to be successful in your search. Times may be tougher right now but there is always someone hiring somewhere and there are steps that you can take to be noticed in a sea of applicants. Use the help that is available in your community and beyond, don’t go it alone.
There are community agencies to support in times of need, coaches and counsellors such as myself who are more than willing to assess your situation and offer assistance, credit counselling agencies for those that find themselves in financial difficulty, friends and family. Use your time wisely and the expertise of many and 2009 can open doors for you that you believed had closed. Welcome to a year of positive transition!