During the final few months of the year, many job seekers reach out to me asking whether they should pause their job searches during the holidays. It’s a notoriously busy time of year, and they want to know if they can successfully find a job.
Similarly, you might be asking yourself, “Can I find a job during this time of year, or should I pause my job search during the holidays?” Like most job search- and career-related advice, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, it can be helpful to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of job searching during the holiday season.
In this article, I share some of the benefits of continuing to job search during the holidays, as well as a few situations where it might make sense for you to pause your search.
4 Reasons To Keep Job Searching During The Holidays
Let’s dive in. Here are a few of the benefits of keeping your foot on the pedal during the final few months of the year:
1. Less competition.
Many job seekers take the final months of the year off from looking for new roles, as they are busy preparing for the holidays and spending time with family. If you are looking for your next opportunity, this translates into less competition and an increased likelihood of landing an interview and subsequent job offer. Consequently, you may find it advantageous to keep submitting applications, networking with industry contacts, and following up with recruiters.
2. Temporary jobs.
Another reason this can be a strategic time to search is that many companies ramp up their temporary hiring in anticipation of the busy holiday shopping season. Depending on the function and industry, some of these temp opportunities will last through the busy Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day holiday, particularly in areas like ecommerce. Moreover, a percentage of these temp roles will convert into permanent roles. These temp-to-permanent roles are particularly common in the tech industry.
3. Networking opportunities.
The final months of the year are often filled with holiday get-togethers. While I don’t advise attending holiday parties with the sole purpose of moving your job search forward, they can be used to strategically network and notify people that you’re on the lookout for your next opportunity. You can also tactfully request informational interviews if family or friends happen to work in your target industry or role.
4. Stay ahead of the curve.
Finally, the first of the year is historically the busiest time for job searching, as many people manifest, “new year, new job.” Maintaining your job search efforts through the holidays will keep you ahead of the curve. When other job seekers are busy frantically updating their resumes and optimizing their LinkedIn profiles on Jan. 1, you will already have your materials polished and your applications submitted.
When To Pause Your Job Search During The Holidays
While there are a lot of benefits to continuing to look for your next job during the holiday season, there are also several reasons why you may want to pause your search as the year winds down. Here are a few examples:
1. You’re unclear on your career direction.
If you’re uncertain about your career path, the holidays can be a good time for self-reflection. You can begin by thinking about what you want, and don’t want, in your next career and employer. You can then start to translate these thoughts into a list of dream companies that you can target in the new year once you have more clarity and direction.
2. You’re nearing burnout.
If you’re nearing, or already experiencing, burnout in your job search, you may want to use this time of year for rest and relaxation. Importantly, you don’t need to take the entire holiday season off. Just a week or two off from looking for a job can truly change your outlook and mindset.
3. You don’t want to look.
Lastly, if you no longer feel like looking for a job, consider pausing your search. This may seem obvious, but some job seekers feel like they “should” be constantly looking for their next opportunity. If you have the luxury of pausing your search during the holidays, and want to, consider taking a pause. Again, you don’t have to take the entire holiday season off. Even a few days removed from the job search can positively impact your mental health and move you in the right direction. You’ve got this!