We have about six weeks before it’s Thanksgiving Day and the commencement of the holiday season. If you’re on the job hunt, this brief window of time is crucial. There is a seasonality component to the hiring process and you can—and should—take full advantage of it.
The closer we get toward the holidays, the more businesses slow down. It would be reasonable to believe that hiring trends are consistent throughout the year. This is far from reality. Every season has its own rhythm and tempo. Sometimes, it swells to a crescendo of activity and, at other times, it slowly fades out.
Historically, as we get closer to Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year, hiring drastically cools down. There’s a collective understanding that we will all let up off of the gas pedal, tap the breaks and start slowing down. Vacation days and long weekends are taken. There’s a renewed focus on family and friends. It’s a time to enjoy the season and put work on the back burner.
It makes sense that many job seekers place their search on hold. Since work-related matters aren’t a priority, there will be little hiring. This specific season, potential candidates may feel that with all of the uncertainty, acrimony and civil unrest leading up to the presidential elections, no one is going to hire and they may as well suspend their job search. Some people will think that after trying in vain for months to find a job, they’ll rationalize that it’s reasonable to take off until the elections are settled and the new year commences.
My suggestion to you is to become a contrarian. Use this season to double down on your efforts. While others relax, you should go on a job-search rampage. Go against and ignore what the herd is doing. Chart your own path. Get aggressive by turbocharging your efforts. Search for jobs and apply to them. Keep reaching out to your network for leads. Find people in power positions at companies that you want to work for and let them know you’d like to work there. Tighten up your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Get in touch with recruiters that specialize in your space and make them notice you and champion your cause. Market yourself aggressively on LinkedIn without worry what people may think or say. Participate in lots of online career-related meetups and make yourself noticed.
The plan is simple. While everyone else is coasting, you’ll be rocking the search. There will be less competition and you’ll stand out. Human resources will have fewer résumés to view, so they can thoroughly review yours. There will be less activity on LinkedIn and your posts will garner attention. Be prepared. Since this is usually a prime vacation time, you might not hear back immediately. Don’t let that discourage you. Consider it planting the seeds now and bearing the fruit in the near-future.
Corporations require managers to use or lose their budgets. If they don’t hire in 2020, they may not have the funds or a chance to do so in the next year. This incentivizes hiring managers to act quickly, as they realize, if they don’t take action, the executives will maintain that the job isn’t a priority and cut the budget for headcount—leaving managers short-staffed.
You’ll also have a second window opening after the New Year’s celebrations are over. Usually, after we regroup from the holidays, a back-to-school mentality kicks in and the hiring season starts to pick up again.
It’s ingrained into our psyche to view January as the time to better ourselves. New Year’s resolutions are made to improve ourselves and it’s a time for optimism, promise and new beginnings. Companies share this positive outlook. Budgets are approved for new hires, vacant seats left open during the holiday season need to be filled, bonuses have been paid out and everyone begrudgingly acquiesces to the fact that we’re starting up again.
This year, in particular, could be huge for job seekers. The uncertainty over the presidential election has placed a damper on hiring. There is a large chasm between the policies of former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. It’s clear that corporations have been holding back on bringing aboard new employees until they know who will be president. After it’s decided, corporate executives will have a better understanding of which way the economy may move—relative to their policies. With this knowledge, companies can start taking action, like hiring. There should be a large pent-up demand for people since hiring has been so soft.
Another factor which may increase hiring is that whoever wins, they’ll have a big incentive to improve the economy, stock and job markets. Biden will want a second term and knows that it won’t happen if he doesn’t effectively deal with Covid-19, open up businesses and get people back to work. Trump needs to leave with the legacy of saving the job market, making the stock market go higher, improving the economy and substantially reducing the threat of the virus.
Whoever wins, it’s likely that the uncertainty will be lifted, positive changes will occur and hiring will be jump started.