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 Overcoming December Job Search Challenges

By Joe Stein

For a variety of reasons searching for a job in the month of December can be a challenge for some.  This is the month, for some reason, that job seekers can fall into bad habits or make some ill-advised choices. It shouldn’t be nearly as hard, however, as some make it out to be. 
This month can be a critical one in a job search. Below are some of the ways you can overcome the potential challenges of a December job search.
·         Find the Time – The month of December contains as many distractions as probably any time of the year. Most are constantly stretched for time. For those currently employed, you may be faced with trying to wrap up projects prior to the end of the year. For virtually everyone, our personal lives can become extremely busy with holiday activities, or even the snowy weather we sometimes face in Western New York. What you don’t want to do, under any circumstance, is take the month of December off from your job search.    As people pull you in different directions, you may have to get selfish with some of your day and schedule quiet time for you and your search. Actually, schedule time and consider it a formal appointment that can’t be rescheduled. By continuing your search thru December, you will give yourself a competitive advantage against anyone who does decide to take it off.
·         Stay Positive – There can be a number of reasons to get down about having to do a job search in December. It is a time consumer, causing stress during a very busy period. If you are unemployed, there is probably no worse time to be without the steady income of employment. The false conclusion that there are not any jobs open in December can cause one to be negative. Even the short daylight days can impact the ability of someone to stay positive in December. None of those reasons, however legitimate they may be to you, can keep you from staying positive during your search. A prospective employer will easily be able to tell if you are not as energetic and positive as they would like you to be. The interviewer does not know you beyond the time he or she spends with you during the interview. What they see is generally what they will believe. You want to make the best impression possible.
·         Be Patient – The timing of a job search is not always the same as it is in the other eleven months out of the year. It can be difficult (sometimes) for a prospective employer to gather everyone necessary to meet with you, especially during the later weeks of December when vacations often occur. Companies may also interview in December for positions that are not scheduled to be budgeted for until the New Year, causing a little more elongated process. If any of this occurs, the key for you is to stay patient and to not allow any delays to create frustration for you (at least not any that the prospective employer can see or sense). As bad as you may want the position or employment, an employer will extend an offer only when they are ready to do so. You can certainly inquire with the Recruiter or Hiring Manager regarding a timetable, as knowing that it may not be until January may ease any anxiety you feel regarding a slower pace.
·         Don’t Get Fooled – A big mistake some make is assuming that because it is December, there are not any jobs available. Yes, some may get delayed until January and there may be some vacations in the month, but the reality is there are lots of jobs filled in Western New York every day in December. Business does not grind to a halt because it is the last month on the calendar. As noted above, continue to follow your job search routine.
·         Take Advantage of Opportunities – This is the month, more than any, where people connect with each other in the spirit of the season. What better time to network? Without being intrusive, let people know that you in the market for a new job and would appreciate any leads that they may know. Take advantage of every networking opportunity that presents itself this holiday season.
The month of December can bring its own unique set of challenges to a job seeker. There is nothing specific in the month, however, that should cause a job seeker to delay or even really adjust his or her search. In fact, a savvy job seeker will even use December in order to create an advantage against the competition.
As always, best of luck in your job search!