By MARVIN WALBERG
Scripps Howard News Service
---- — Contrary to popular belief, the holiday months of November and December are an excellent time to develop and leverage new contacts for a job search.
Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” says, “Many job-seekers don’t realize how important it is to keep their search fully active during these months. There is little to no competition. Companies are completing their budget-planning for the next fiscal year, and many executives have to fill openings early in the year or they may lose the budget for that position.”
Myers offers the following tips to help job-seekers make the most of this all-important time for career transition.
Network. There are many social and community networking events in November and December, including charity fundraisers and holiday events. Most professional associations have a party for their December meetings, with a lighter spirit than the more formal meetings offered throughout the rest of the year.
Myers cautions: “Do not bring a resume to these events. Rather, create a simple, tasteful business card with your name, phone number and email address to give to people.”
Volunteer. There are many volunteer opportunities around the holidays. Volunteering is a good way to help others, to feel good when you need a boost, to have a renewed sense of purpose during your search and to meet other professionals.
Call people. Even if many people are away for the holidays, those still at work may have more time to speak with you.
Send holiday cards. This is the time to send cards to everyone on your list, including search firms, human-resource executives and hiring managers with whom you have spoken or whom you have met over the past year.
“There really couldn’t be a better time than November or December for a job search. Those in the position to hire are ‘out of their normal environment’ and willing to talk about work in a more relaxed setting,” said Myers.
Happy holidays — and do what others fail to do!
Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, visit www.marvin-walberg.com.