4 Ways You Can Take Advantage of the Holidays to Find a New Career

4 Ways You Can Take Advantage of the Holidays to Find a New Career

Published on SharpHeels: http://sharpheels.com/2016/11/holiday-job-hunting/

We often believe that hiring slows down prior to the new year. This is a myth! Hiring managers are still searching for applicants, but interviews and hiring decisions may be slower because of the difficulty in getting a team of coworkers together during the holiday season. The holidays are an excellent time to get in the pipeline for the first-quarter hiring wave when everyone returns to the office in January. Below are four tips to take advantage of this time of year to find a new job or change careers:

Network
Do you ever feel like you need time away from your loved ones during the holidays? Keep in mind that you are not the only one who feels that way! That’s why the holidays are a great time to network. The reason networking meetings (also known as informational interviews) are so effective in helping you get a job is that companies are more likely to hire someone through referrals. When you first begin to network, your goal isn’t to ask for a job, but to build relationships. After you have connected with someone, you can ask him or her to pass along your résumé to a hiring manager or inquire about upcoming career opportunities within the company. There are many articles available that discuss effective ways to schedule a networking meeting. Below are a few quick tips to guide you.

  • First, reach out to an old colleague, coworker, or friend who is working at a job, company, or industry you are interested in. If there is a chance that the person may not remember you, remind him or her of who you are and when you met last. Include your headshot in the signature of your email. Share what you have been up to (employment, education, etc.), the reason you want to meet (do not ask for a job), and invite him or her to meet you for coffee.
  • During your meeting, ask questions about his or her career, company, or industry to obtain information that you cannot find on the internet.
  • Toward the end of your meeting, ask if he or she would be willing to introduce you to other people with whom you want to connect. Be specific about the individuals you are interested in, e.g., “Do you know of anyone who is in x role and x company? Would you be willing to make email introductions?” You are more likely to have a new contact agree to meet with you if you are introduced by a mutual contact.
  • Lastly, be sure to send a note thanking the person for his or her time, advice, and support.

You will be surprised how many people are willing and able to get together this time of year because work slows down. Take advantage of it!

Show Your Gratitude 
When you are looking to change careers, you are going to want others to share job leads, provide references if you are offered a position, and advise you along the way. That’s why relationships are so important for your career success. One of the best ways to foster your relationships is through gratitude. If you are still connected with people who have helped you in the past with your career, send them a holiday card, email, or even a gift, if it is appropriate. You will probably need their help again, so these small gestures show that you care and appreciate their support. If the people who have helped you in your past realize that you are grateful, they will most likely help you again in the future.

Update Your Cover Letter, Résumé, and LinkedIn Profile
Because the trends for cover letters, résumés, and LinkedIn profiles change every year, the holidays are a great time to update them, especially if you have not applied for a position in a while. Spend some time researching the most common trends from reputable career, recruiting, and business magazines. Compare your résumé with the job descriptions you want to target and make sure you are mirroring the roles and responsibilities, industry language, and keywords.  Also, research others on LinkedIn who are in similar careers, companies, and industries, and update your application materials as necessary. If you know someone with excellent editing skills, ask him or her to review your documents–you don’t want any mistakes on your application materials! Also, if you know of anyone in a job, industry, or company similar to the one you are applying for, have him or her provide feedback on your cover letter, résumé, and LinkedIn profile, as well.

Take on Side Projects
As New Year’s Eve quickly approaches, so do the resolutions. Many business owners want to reorganize their office, catch up with administrative work, or market their business. The new year is an opportunity to provide temporary support to a small business while building your portfolio. If you are highly organized, know how to use Microsoft Office, or have other applicable skills, offer to help a small business owner and see if he or she would be willing to compensate you. This is a great way to build your résumé, demonstrate your skills, and fill in any employment gaps. If you find it challenging to find paid work, then volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to build your skills, receive training in a new area, and network with a nonprofit or people who could potentially hire you.

Whatever you do, don’t slow your job search efforts this holiday season. Get yourself out there, touch up your application materials, and keep the job search going. Don’t let the holidays pass you by; take advantage of this time of year, when most people are in a generous mood and are happy to help others.

Having a Hard Time Being Productive Today?

productiveI have to admit, I’m having a hard time being productive today. How about you?

This election cycle has been unlike what many of us have ever seen. The use of fear-based messages about the past, present and future of our country during this campaign has been non-stop.

I’m upset and shaken to my core. I had a laundry list of items to get done today and I can’t seem to get through them.

So here’s what I’m doing instead. I’m reaching out and connecting. I’m emailing former clients to check in, calling colleagues to set meetings, and reaching out to friends to share my love.

We know that our relationships are instrumental to our career success. The more we cultivate them, the easier it is to tap the hidden job market and make transitions when we are ready to make a change. In a time in which our country is divided, there is no better time to reach out and connect.

I wanted to send positive thoughts your way. And if you can’t get anything done today, perhaps just reach out and connect.

My Rebrand

With the arrival of fall, change is in the air! I’ve noticed that many of my clients have been making major changes in their lives, whether it be internal such as mindset shifts or external such as changing careers. I’ve also been making some major changes including selling my home, moving into an apartment downtown, rebranding my […]

Why You Should Pray Even if No One is Listening

I promise you this article is not going to get religious on you. There are so many reasons people pray —perhaps they want change, to receive something, connection to God, forgiveness, healing or something else.

I personally like to pray during life transitions. Not because I think there is someone listening, but it’s a meditative act to help me get crystal clear on my wants, needs and deepest desires. In turn, I’m listening to myself.

I began praying several years ago during a major life transition. I wasn’t sure that anyone was listening or that my prayers would be answered, but I knew I needed another outlet.

I tried different methods of praying such as putting my hands to my forehead where my third eye would be activated, my palms to my heart, kneeling, walking, and the list goes on…

I found myself asking for so many things to change and then I felt guilty because I thought that I should only be asking for things that are selfless.

I thought I should give up because prayer didn’t seem to work and then I decide to push my judgement aside—I realized that prayer was a power tool to help me realize what I want. If I didn’t put any expectation or how prayer should look or the outcome I should receive, the power in itself was my clarity.

In a society where we are given messages through media that we don’t know what we want and we need material things to fulfill ourselves, our true desires get muddled.

Clarity in itself is such a powerful gift.

Prayer is the tool in which I can look into myself and see where I can take action or who I can receive help from to make a needed change.

If you are in any life transition and need clarity, try praying. Worse comes to worse, it doesn’t work for you and you try something else.

You Can Make a Difference!

make-a-differenceWhen you were a kid, what difference did you want to make on the world? Was it to feed the poor… save suffering animals… fight for equal rights?

Do you remember that distinct moment you felt like you couldn’t make a difference? When you felt your impact was very insignificant?

I remember as a child, I wanted to make everyone feel included. It didn’t matter what clique they were in, I just wanted to get to know them. I didn’t care about color, gender, race or ability because I was motivated by unconditional acceptance and connection.

I also remember the day I felt I couldn’t make a difference. It was when I was in the 6th grade and this boy called me a lesbian as a way to make me feel bad about myself. I didn’t understand the meaning of lesbian, but I felt excluded, different and unworthy.

Over the last week, I’ve been sitting on a committee evaluating grant proposals submitted by youth to fund an initiative that would make an impact on their local community. It’s been inspiring to read the about the perseverance of these youth to achieve their goals! Several of the applications shared that if they didn’t receive the grant, they would find other ways to secure the funding.

It made me realize that sometimes the only thing holding me back from making the impact or legacy is myself and my limiting beliefs; similar to the way I felt when that boy called me a lesbian in the 7th grade.

When we believe we cannot make an impact or have a career that can be meaningful, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

In order to make that impact, we’ll have to try different things or adjust our plan (such as changing careers) in order to persevere. We’ll also have to get in touch with our inner-child when we believed we could make a difference.

Next Tuesday, June 28th from 7-9:30 PM MST, I’m hosting a small group workshop, Career Impact, Legacy and Footprint. For a nominal cost of $36.00, you’ll get crystal clear on the legacy and impact you want to leave on this world and gain a better understanding of how your career fits into the picture. It’s going to be awesome!!!  To learn more and register, click here.

I hope to see you there!