This is Not a Time to Hibernate
Winter officially begins on December 21, but this is not the time to hibernate if you are looking for work. You may have considered hibernation because you thought that the holidays are a lousy time to find a job. That could be true if you are pursuing a position with a company that shuts down for several weeks around the holidays. However, most of the companies in our area won’t stop operations for more than a few days during the holidays. In fact, some industries are running hot in the colder months. I have heard that is true of the manufacturing and logistic departments at the North Pole.
So don’t slow down, stick with your job search plan and stay active. If you don’t have a plan, now is the time to make one and develop a targeted approach to your job search. A successful job search plan includes networking, and this could be one of the best seasons for you to make real progress toward your next job. Many companies are participating in community food drives and special holiday events. Last week there was a city-wide food drive sponsored by multiple employers and volunteers from corporations working alongside neighbors, private organizations and schools. Employer sponsored events are a good way to meet people who can influence your selection for an interview and raise your spirits as you help others. Toys for Tots, Wreaths Across America, and Angel Tree are just a few of the many organizations that seek corporate sponsorship for their holiday fundraising events. You can also find out about these and other holiday volunteer opportunities in the local media, on employer web pages, and on the Facebook pages of employers. Which employers, you ask? Why those found on your well researched list of employers that hire people with your skills. If you don’t have a list of companies where you would like to work, now is the time to make one. No need to make a naughty list, just focus on your nice list.
Research companies where you would like to apply, even if they do not have a current opening, and make a list of those that interest you because of the corporate culture, financial stability, charitable giving, or mission statement. Once you have a few targets identified, update your 30-second commercial or elevator speech with one or two employer targets. Having a plan for where you would like to work, and knowing why you want to work there, will provide additional focus for your job search and help others help you. The holiday season can be the perfect time to approach friends and professional acquaintances for leads about possible job openings. Attend as many holiday celebrations as possible and take advantage of the numerous networking opportunities available over the next few weeks.
Santa must have a plan if he is going to make it to all of the names on his list with deliveries scheduled on December 25. Likewise, savvy job seekers will have a list of potential employers and a targeted job search plan to keep the season bright with prospects for a new job in the New Year.
Jenny Johnson manages the Regional Facilitator and Navigator team for Workforce Solutions in the Gulf Coast. She has over 16 years of experience in workforce development, and 10 years as a training project manager and technical trainer for large corporations.