Should My Job Search Take a Vacation?

  • Posted by: Chaloner

This week’s blog post is written by Chaloner’s Alanna Miller, who joined the NY Chaloner office this summer. Alanna has an extensive marketing background and a deep commitment to creating a seamless experience for her clients and candidates. She moved into executive search in 2013 to build out the marketing and communications practice of a rapidly-growing contingent firm, with a focus on professional and financial services clients. Alanna is also the author of Stuff Every Woman Should Know (2010, Quirk Books), a pocket-sized reference book for women of all ages.

People often slow down on a job search this time of year, and understandably so: there’s turkey to eat, football to watch, and family to catch up/bicker with. There’s also the assumption that no one will be looking for candidates around the holidays, and it’s better to wait until the new year. While the hiring market may be less active, there are some great reasons to stay engaged and active in your search right now.

Valuable research time
If you’re still in the early phase of your job search, the holidays provide a great opportunity to develop a strategy. This is an important part of the process that can often fall by the wayside during prime hiring seasons; when dozens of jobs are being posted daily, it can be hard to focus on the research stage because you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity. By creating a plan that outlines your target industries, companies, people, types of roles, and outreach approach, you’ll be able to focus your search. You can then continue to use this information when opportunities start hitting LinkedIn again.

Don’t assume everyone is taking time off
The truth is, people aren’t taking as much time off as you think they are. This makes the holiday season a great time to reach out. The days leading up to and right after Thanksgiving (as well as other major holidays) can be perfect for scheduling informational interviews and introductory conversations. A slower season means that people are more likely to have time for a call or a coffee, so take advantage of that.

Momentum matters
Like any skill, a job search becomes easier through practice and experience. If you’ve been conducting a motivated search but take five weeks off because “no one is hiring right now anyway” it will be much harder to get back into the groove in January. Integrating a job search into your daily routine is going to have a huge payoff, so don’t lose momentum! You’ll need all that extra energy for the gym, language classes, or whatever resolution is on your ambitious list for 2016.

You deserve a vacation around the holidays, but try to see this time as a unique opportunity for your job search. It’s all about getting in the right mindset: a well-conducted job search is a gift to your future self!