At this time of the year, many people are preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as what days they can take off over the holiday. As for job seekers, many report pressing pause on their search, thinking that no hiring activity will take place between now and the end of the year. The delusion that the holidays are a job hunt “dead zone” is widespread, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Seasonal job hunting myths are plentiful and need to be debunked. They prevent job seekers from exploring seasonal opportunities, which can even turn into full-time roles. Below are some of the common holiday job hunting myths that you need to stop believing.
Myth 1: Budgets Are Null
This is a misconception. Many hiring managers may discover they have funds to spend before the next year starts. They may reignite initiatives to recruit people in the last few months of the financial year to keep their hiring budgets from being cut next year. Some recruiters want open positions filled before December so that new team members can start promptly in the New Year.
Myth 2: The Only Available Jobs Are Retail Jobs
Retail activity tends to peak during the holiday season, so a lot of job seekers think that only retailers are looking to hire. However, several other industries also ramp up recruiting for the season. Courtesy of all those ecommerce orders coming in 24/7, delivery companies such as UPS and USPS hire many employees to meet expanding demand. Moreover, the holiday season is the time of open enrollment at several companies, and many human resource teams are looking for part-time employees to assist with signup processes and address any benefits-related queries.
Myth 3: Interviews Are Unlikely to Happen
While things do tend to slow down in the last week of December, it’s work as usual for companies. The months of October and November, along with the first three weeks of December, are often filled with fast-paced activity, and recruiters are trying to get interviews done before they take a few weeks off. And while things will become slow a week before the New Year starts, they won’t stop altogether. It’s always worth being prepared for an interview, as timely preparation can make for a much more relaxed and pleasurable interview experience.
Myth 4: Contract-to-hire Roles Are Non-existent
This isn’t true. Many organizations hire contract personnel during the holiday months to cover long absences, like sabbaticals and extended vacations. These roles could lead to permanent employment if the timing is right. Make sure to keep tabs on your favorite companies’ social media profiles for potential openings. Follow them on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what sort of roles they’re hiring for. Active job hunters know that opportunities exist and go job searching with a positive attitude.
Myth 5: Most Roles End on December 31
Seasonal sales peak during the Christmas period, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all seasonal workers get cut come December 31. The reality is that many people extend temporary jobs into the next year. Big chains, for instance, retain a significant percentage of their seasonal workforce through February for several reasons. New Year and post-holiday sales, for instance, attract a lot of foot traffic, and customers also return many items they bought as gifts. High-performing seasonal workers may also get an offer for a permanent role. As long as you’re working to the best of your ability, keeping a positive attitude, and showing up on time, you might find yourself with an extended opportunity or even a permanent role.
Myth 6: Networking Opportunities Barely Exist
Actually, they do exist in good numbers. Because holidays are a social season, employees can take advantage of barbecues, ski outings, and after-work get-togethers to network with other employees and managers. Your best connection may be at the upcoming Halloween party, so make sure to participate in social events. This can also help differentiate you from the rest of the seasonal workforce and personalize your relationship with potential recruiters. After all, we’re living in the “relationship era.”
Myth 7: It Isn’t Possible to Pitch at Events
This is somewhat true, but there’s always the option to convey a soft pitch about your “why” and hand over business cards. There are always a large number of conferences and events during the holiday months, and you can use them to your advantage without coming across as desperate or pushy. Make a point of being empathic to people in conversations. They’ll remember you because you made them feel validated and understood. Be open about your job search, sharing what you have to offer and what type of job you are looking for. They may not know of anything coming open, but a “friend of a friend” may mention a job position and your name could get mentioned if you have made a good impression.
Myth 8: It’s Better to Find a Job in January
That’s the opinion of many others! So why not submit your application now and get employers familiar with your face before they get hit up by a crush of applicants in January. Also, some positions tend to be time-sensitive. You can secure such roles well before the January competition grows in the marketplace. Keep in mind that when employers have a position they need to fill in a hurry, they won’t care if it’s January or December.
Winning that holiday job won’t happen overnight, but you can cut through some of the myths that hold back other job seekers. Working persistently and diligently is the key to finding your place in the seasonal job market and beyond.
There are several career myths surrounding job searching during the holiday season. One of the most common and well-known myth is that companies and staffing agencies stop hiring during the holiday. As a result, most job seekers hit the brakes naturally and unconsciously due to the misinformation of these myths. There are a few more of these myths than needs debunking.