Isn’t it funny that on Thanksgiving we show our appreciation for everything we have in our lives, only to blow all our money on things we probably don’t need the very next day? You know, like how everyone’s dying to get their hands on the new iPhone X.
Of course, holiday shopping is a fun indulgence, but this time of the year isn’t just great for browsing material goods. It’s also perfect for checking out new career opportunities.
Sometimes, people get to a place in their lives when a job starts to feel like a pair of old jeans—overworn, baggy and faded. Even if a person loved those jeans, it’s like one day the pants just don’t seem to fit like they used to. Maybe the person simply outgrew them.
Either way, it’s time to put those jeans to rest and move on. It’s time for a new kind of shopping spree. While everyone else is risking their lives during the Black Friday frenzy, here’s why job seekers should focus on something that really matters.
Start Shopping Now
Black Friday is the perfect time to browse new opportunities, even if it’s just a little professional window shopping.
For anyone who’s currently employed, the holidays put a pause on business as usual, meaning they have more free time to see what’s out there. Plus, they won’t raise any suspicions at their current job taking a day off during this time to interview elsewhere, as many people save their vacation days for the end of the year.
For those who aren’t currently employed, they definitely need to devote this time to the job hunt. They can start by: (1) updating their LinkedIn profile and resume, (2) researching potential companies where they’d be a good fit and (3) contacting recruiters to help them in their search. The reason they may want to consider working with a recruiter now is because, believe it or not, this is the busiest time of the year for us.
Too Many Job Orders, Too Few Candidates
Businesses who use recruiters are scrambling to bill us for as many services as possible by the end of the year deadline for tax purposes.
As executive recruiter Josiah Whitman notes, “Hiring managers and bank CEOs will typically try to reduce their operating profits by incurring search fees towards the end of each year, to avoid paying taxes." January is the beginning of a new fiscal budget, but many companies hire in December to avoid losing the budget for filling a position.
Though December used to be notoriously slow, that’s really not the case anymore. In fact, December 2016 was particularly robust, as 292,000 people found jobs during the month. This time presents job seekers with a unique window of opportunity.
Because everyone assumes no one is hiring in December, there’s less competition for positions. And with normal operations slowing down, hiring managers and employers can spend more time looking at applications, so it’s easier to get their attention.
Of course, other factors like the job seeker’s industry and region may influence whether or not they get hired in December. However, with the New Year just around the corner, now is still the best time to apply.
New Year, New Jobs
The first quarter is one of the busiest hiring booms of the year. Employers have a new budget, and companies everywhere are looking to grow. Job seekers shouldn’t wait till January to apply though.
For starters, the average hiring process takes 23 days. That means job seekers who apply in December will poise themselves to get the job in January anyways, but it’s especially important to apply in December because then their application is at the top of the hiring manager’s stack.
That means job seekers who are strong candidates for a role—which they will be if they’re working with a good recruiter—and apply early on will most likely get the job. Hiring managers tend to not drag out the hiring process if they can help it. If they feel like the candidate is a good fit, then it makes their job all the easier.
And just like that, the job seeker’s shopping spree is over. They can relish in the success of their exhaustive search, reflecting on how relieved they are that they didn’t spend this Black Friday buying stuff that would end up in their next garage sale.
Now is the time for job seekers to treat themselves to better opportunities.