It is not impossible to land a new job before Christmas

Impossible to land a new job before Christmas? Don’t believe the hype!

Many job seekers look at the calendar year as containing several ‘choice’ months, in which their chances of being hired are better than others. There’s all sorts of reasons bandied about for why these months are more conducive to landing a role and, conversely, why some others are not.

Depending on where you live and what industry you work in, hiring will likely follow some sort of seasonal trend, but I don’t think these trends are anywhere near as ‘cut and dried’ as some people make them out to be.

February is perfect here in Australia, some say, because the decision makers have returned from holidays and are ready to activate hiring decisions left on the back burner before Christmas.

October, meanwhile, is the perfect month to target companies operating on a fiscal year ending 30 September, because such companies have new budgets and perhaps new strategic objectives that can only be met through the hiring of additional team members.

December and January? Forget it! These two months are widely panned — at least here in Australia — and occasional data showing job advertising falling in these two months perhaps add some weight to this belief, and compounds job seekers’ pessimism during what should be one of the most enjoyable times of the year.

While hiring might follow some sort of trend, it doesn’t mean you, the job seeker, have to. In fact, committed job seekers most certainly don’t. Those who get the role they want don’t, as Public Enemy once said, believe the hype. They don’t make excuses for why they won’t get a job this month. They get out there during those months perceived as being quieter on the hiring front to uncover opportunities that will have them in the box seat once hiring picks up again. Or, as often happens, they find themselves a job when others say there are none to be found.

I know it’s not easy. I’ve said before that job-hunting sucks, and it’s true. It’s hard to keep slogging away when armchair specialists are saying hiring has died away, or dropped off. When the emails and phone calls aren’t being returned, it’s easy to believe the hype.

If you’ve been looking previously, and had little luck, that temptation is hard to resist. I’ve seen too many friends start to second guess their abilities when their seemingly perfect plans of leaving one job and starting another just don’t work out. Heck, I’ve experienced the self-doubt and frustration myself! Like most achievements, landing a plum job takes a little luck, a lot of effort, and a boatload of determination; even the best of us are tempted to throw our hands up in exasperation once in awhile, and towards the end of the year might seem a better time than most.

But seasonal hiring trends as an excuse for not getting out there and looking? I don’t buy it. Even if hiring is being put off towards the end of the year, what’s stopping you throwing some irons in the fire right here and now? What about networking at end-of-year celebrations? It might be a slower period for hiring, but then again, it might not, and there’s a hell-of-a-lot-of-good cheer getting round towards the end of the year. Use it to your advantage.

Ask people questions. Stay in touch with decision makers if you can. The little things you do to be remembered — to stay in the back of a hiring manager or decision-maker’s mind — can lead to a big outcome.

So you want a job before Christmas? It can happen, but if it doesn’t, make sure it’s not through want of trying. If you want to use the end of the year to refresh yourself before diving back into the hunt early in the new year, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Just don’t believe the hype.  Good things come to those who wait, but not to those who make excuses. Get out there!


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