By Eileen Moloney
Like promising to go to the gym every day or learn a new skill, so many people decide that the start of the New Year is the ideal time to look for a job. It’s easy to assume that employers down tools when it comes to hiring in December but are you missing out on vital preparation time? In fact, if you wait until January, you risk facing the most competitive time of the year for job hunters. Time to seize the day and get ahead of the crowd!
The fiscal year ends on December 31st and many companies reduce hiring budgets for the following year if they’re not used up by the end of the year. While you don’t have to start your new job until the following year, you can have your job contracts signed, sealed and delivered before Christmas Day, just in time for you to relax and enjoy the festive season!
Time to dust off your CV and social media branding
As the year winds down, you now have plenty of time to look over your CV and add in skills / experience that you’ve gained in the last 12 months. You have also plenty of time to polish up your personal branding on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn profile shows you in the best possible light for the jobs you want! Take a look at jobs boards and get the ball rolling.
Getting a head start
Lots of people put their job hunting on hold until January simply because it’s the festive season. This means that there will be less competition for roles. Get ahead of the curve and start applying now. Start talking to recruiters and hiring managers now. These conversations may not bear immediate fruit now but could put you in pole position come January when they start shortlisting candidates.
The festive season and all its accompanying parties are a great time to reconnect with people. Professional associations have their annual end of year parties which is the ideal opportunity to network shamelessly. Although if your colleagues are also attending these functions, do try and be discreet about it. It’s also the time that expats come home so if you are interested in moving abroad, then now is your chance to talk to people and find out what’s available in their companies / locations.
Catching your interviewers at a great time
Employers also are in better moods in December. They’re looking forward to time off, the parties and quite possibly their end of year bonuses. Wouldn’t you rather deal with a hiring manager in the throes of the holiday spirit rather than in January when they’re still suffering the January blues?
Tenacity and determination definitely pays off when it comes to December job hunting! Best of luck with your search!
2018 – Make the move!
At some stage in their career, everyone experiences that dreaded “Sunday Evening Fear”, where you really don’t want to drag yourself into work on the Monday morning. The Christmas holiday period only serves to exacerbate this feeling for many. This means that the first day back in the office in January is the time when most people decide to make that move! But before you decide to tender your resignation, here are a few things to consider!
Are you really fed up of your job or simply your current employer?
If you’re fed up with your job, then getting a new but similar job will only mean that the problems will still be there. Perhaps instead of a kneejerk reaction and handing in your notice, take some time to think about the reasons why you don’t like your job. It may mean upskilling or retraining, even taking a backwards step in your career to get the job you really want. Make a list of your strengths and skills and compare them to the “must have” lists of jobs that you’re applying for. It’s important to be really honest with yourself at the same time and make a list of your weaknesses so that you know what you need to work on to improve.
If it’s a case of being fed up with your employer, then it’s definitely time to move! Again, make a list of your skills and strengths. Also look around the market and compile a target list of employers. Do you want to stay in the same type of company ie a start-up in the tech field or do you want to look outside your sector? Have a chat with your recruiter, they’ll help you narrow down your target list and will be able to give you a real insight into the employer’s culture.
Are you moving for a bigger salary?
If your sole motivation for moving is for a bigger salary, then you may be looking for another move sooner than you think. Money is definitely not everything when it comes to job satisfaction so if you do get that job with the bigger salary you’ve been hoping for, do ensure that you’re happy with everything else ie. expected hours, commute time, work life balance and responsibilities. Many people say that they only want to move for a bigger salary but there are other issues to take into consideration. Remember that December / January are also the times that bonuses are usually paid out so be aware of timing issues when handing in your notice. What you get in your salary increase in the new job may not make up for missing an annual bonus.
Get your CV and social media presence in order
Prior to looking for a new job, it’s always prudent to look over your CV and social media profiles, especially LinkedIn. You may have gained new skills since the last time you updated your CV and profile. It’s vital to add those new skills in order to attract the attention of potential employers. Take advantage of the long Christmas holiday period to revamp your CV and social media presence. Make sure you tailor your CV to each job. Sending a tailored CV may seem tedious but it will pay dividends.
Get ahead of the crowd this festive season and make sure that you hit your January job search running!
Eileen Moloney is Head of Marketing with the Brightwater Group. She has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing for professional services in Ireland. She currently leads a team of 4 in all marketing activities for the Brightwater Group across a range of disciplines (accountancy, legal, IT, HR, sales & marketing, executive, banking, financial services and business support) including events, sponsorship and social media presence.