It’s November 26 today as I write this and the airways are full of people talking about Christmas sales, end-of-year sales, and notice of New Year’s Eve celebrations and parties. Already? It’s true.
For people looking for employment, hearing about end-of-the year activities, mixed in with Christmas and all of its pressures plus the stress of being unemployed – well, it can be overwhelming. The days are grey, the sun sometimes is gone for days on end, and temperatures drop. Of course in other parts of the world, the reverse is true.
That’s the ying-yang concept in action isn’t it? Somewhere things are the opposite of whatever is going on where you are. That however, is a post for another day; have to remember that one! My point in today’s blog is to remind the job seeker that this time of the year represents a fabulous opportunity for someone looking for employment. The reason? Much of your competition has packed it in emotionally for the rest of November and all of December. Oh sure some people will keep job searching, but many will ease up the throttle on their job search and scale back to just reading newspapers and the odd glance at computer screens and job boards. Minimal effort on their part might be just what you need to get that job.
Here’s something to think about. Retailers had a hiring push way back in early October. If anything, there might be only a small bit of hiring going on in that industry, replacing Christmas help here and there right? Wrong. New stores, new franchises and new jobs are always coming up. Here in Canada for example, Target is coming up from the U.S. and opening new stores across Canada in 2013. They are accepting applications now for positions. Knowing they are coming, other established retailer’s such as The Bay are understandably getting a little nervous. Their response? Well they want to ensure they have the right people engaged in connecting with customers and are busy positioning the store to remain highly competitive. That could smell like employment to the right person if you are smart enough to realize the opportunity!
Look at construction and renovation. Last year, many of my clients who were roofers, tradespeople such as plumbers, framers, drywallers etc. eased up expecting snow, cold weather and those in the industry being laid off. Surprise! It was a mild winter and many in that field worked throughout the winter right into the Spring. This year, I’ve already heard some rumblings from people citing upcoming bad weather as their excuse for easing up on the job search.
Comments like, “nobody is hiring” and “I’ll never get a job” are the kind of comments that factual of course are not true. If nobody was hiring for example, there would be zero jobs advertised in papers, job banks, the internet and lots of Recruiters and Headhunters would be out of work. Their ranks however, are growing. When you hear someone else saying, “I’ll never get a job”, tell yourself that while that’s sad they feel that way, you’ve just got one less person to compete with for a job out there yourself.
If anything, gear up your job search. Connect with people and see if you can’t extend your networking. Some people with jobs actually get a little sentimental at this time of year more than any other, and may be actually open to meeting with you and giving you some support and/or job leads just because they are more in tune with doing something good for their fellow-man. (Must be watching all those Christmas specials about to hit the airwaves with their kids.)
You might find that some Employment Counsellors actually have more time than usual if others are cancelling appointments and deferring meetings until the new year. People cancelling appointments will always find some reason to put of their job search. If you can’t get in to meet an Employment Advsior, ask to be put on some kind of last minute cancellation list if possible. I bet you get a call. Squeaky wheels get greased – even in the winter! No matter who you are getting help from, that person probably is helping many people. You want to be at the top of the list when they hear of a job and start calling clients.
Keep your resume fresh and up-to-date. When you make a revision to your resume or add a skill, take the opportunity to dash off a short letter and updated resume and get it into the hands of people you are networking with. Those people will mentally move you up of their mental list and they will keep aware of you and therefore keep on the lookout for opportunities you may be suited for. This also applies if you contract or expand your list of potential jobs.