Every year I like to remind readers that the annual dip is coming in the hiring season. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, hiring tends to slow. Companies still hire, especially those who need to put an employee in place quickly. However, some companies will put hiring decisions off until the new year. Others will hire more slowly because of vacations and time off related to the season.
Am I saying you should stop looking for a job during this period? Absolutely not. Keep looking, but do so with the proper expectations. You will probably see fewer job postings that interest you. That’s the bad news. The good news is that your competition will often stop looking for work because they think no one gets hired during the holidays.
Companies that need to hire will do so. Keep looking. You might be in for a holiday surprise: a new job.
Clients will sometimes ask if there is a good time to look for work or a bad time to be conducting a job search. My answer is that someone who is unemployed or wants a better job should never stop looking. That said, there are hiring cycles when jobs are more available.
Generally speaking, hiring rises in mid-January through early summer tails off a little until Labor Day picks up strong through Thanksgiving and slows down a lot through the New Year. That’s a general model of hiring. What does it mean for the individual job seeker? It means you should work hard on your job search between now and Thanksgiving, but you should not stop looking on Black Friday. I’ve had clients hired to new jobs on the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day.
A good job search never ends until the job seeker gets an offer. Understand the hiring cycle and expect to see fewer ads posted during slow periods. Still, some company will always be hiring because an employee moves, retires, gets sick, or dies. Companies expand and need new workers now – whenever now is.
Be realistic in your job search, but you also need to be equally persistent and resilient. Stopping your search for any reason kills momentum, and then it is very hard to get started again. Keep looking even when the market dips around the holidays. Look hard now. This is the time to be really busy.