Absolutely. And here’s why: who can predict when a key contributor chooses to leave? Companies hire year-round based on specific needs and the availability of scarce talent.
Many companies are preparing budgets for the next year and managers are prepped to begin talent searches during this seasonal “slow time.” Some departments may have budget surpluses and will use the space between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays to spend remaining dollars on new talent before the surplus evaporates.
There is often less competition for worthwhile positions during the holidays because candidates assume that no business is being done and everyone’s on vacation, so dive into the candidate pool with your best foot forward! Whether or not there is an official opening, you can use this time to find a network connection that will help you get in front of a hiring manager. Every company hires year round—and they’re always looking for top talent. When the prospective employer is ready to hire, you’re already a known, desirable quantity.
Holiday parties are ideal for networking and building relationships because people are in a jovial, relaxed mood, making it easier to strike up a friendly conversation around mutual interests. You can also put a note in holiday cards that you send to former colleagues and professional contacts telling them that you are considering a fresh challenge and plan to contact them for ideas and information once the festivities are over.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t delay until January to get your marketing materials in order. Developing a well-crafted, impactful professional message takes thoughtful consideration and time, whether you prepare those materials yourself or work with a career professional. You want to stay ahead of—not behind— the competition. Use the time you have available right now to prepare so that you land well.
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC