Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Conventional wisdom may tell you to put your job search on hold until the New Year once the Holiday season hits. But I disagree.
Think about all the people you see only once a year at Holiday events plus all the new people you might meet.
If you are not clear about your career direction or job target, you might cringe at the thought of people asking what you’re are up to, or worse still, what you want to do.
Once you’re prepared for the inevitable question, you’ll be set to welcome informal conversations and offers of help from potential contacts for your job search. If someone suggests a contact and says, “use my name”, know that this approach rarely works. You’ll need to then say “Thanks! Would you please make an email introduction for me and I’ll take it from there?” Then you can be certain that the email will not end up in spam or the trash since it came from a colleague.
The six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years can be a particularly effective time to expand your network. With many executives curtailing work travel schedules to make themselves available for end-of-the-year planning and office events, you may have easier access to decision makers at this time.
While some organizations have exhausted budgets by year-end, this is not always the case. Be open to the possibility that a new hire would help spend down a budget or assist hiring managers get a jump-start on goals for the coming year.
With an attitude of "anything is possible", and a challenge to your assumptions about this time of year, you may find yourself in a prime position of opportunity and a new job to celebrate the season.
Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.
With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.
An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.
Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.
Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.
Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.