Saturday, July 26, 2008

December Job Market - Hot or Cold

The December Job Market - Hot or Cold?

By John Seraichyk

Yes, I know its only August, but if you are just beginning a search for a six figure position, this may be helpful if your not there yet by December 1.

Are you one of those professional or executive job seekers who place his/her job search on hold during the month of December? Yes, I know its tempting to put things on hold during the holiday season, but if you are serious about new employment or a career change, you might want to remain steadfast in your endeavor to achieve your career goals. Please read on.

If you subscribe to the myths about the holiday job market, you may be positively assuming that companies are shut down the week before and after Christmas. Or maybe, you believe that most decision makers are on vacation or just not in the spirit of doing business until January.

You think to yourself, this job-hunting stuff is no fun and everybody around the office is probably drinking too much eggnog and eating Christmas cookies anyway. They are not going to look at my résumé until January, and I’m putting my job search on hold. Sound familiar? Hey, its Christmas time, who wants to think about job hunting? The excuses are many, but few are valid.

While many rationalize that December is a good time to put the brakes on their job search, my many years of experience tell a very different story. Below are seven solid reasons to keep your search in high gear through the holiday season:

1. Many companies must spend the money in their budgets before the end of the year. Hiring heats up in December because hiring managers are trying to make deadlines to use allocated funds.

2. Many companies know what their needs for the New Year will be, and they are talking with prospects in November and December in an effort to be sufficiently staffed up and ready for the New Year.

3. Because many professionals stop job searching in December, the market is much less competitive. Companies hire predicated on need, not time of year.

4. If you are thinking about a job change for the New Year, December is a great time to lay the necessary foundation and/or kick off your search. If you wait until January, the market will be much more hectic.

5. The three most popular New Year’s resolutions: 1. People quit smoking. 2. People join gyms. 3. People write their résumé and look for a better job. The job market is in chaos during the month of January. By February 1st, cigarette sales are up, the gyms are empty and the job market is back to normal.

6. Decision makers that are working during the holiday season may be more accessible during the month of December. Things may have slowed down around the company and management may be in a better position to speak with you or at least, have a look at the résumé. Once January rolls around, forget it!

7. Search firms are motivated to place candidates before the end of the year. Contingency recruiters are paid on commission. This commission is based on fees their company earns for placing professionals. What ably serves the December job seeker is that this commission rises based on the overall yearly billing. One might start the year at 30% and graduate to 60% by December. The catch is that it goes down to 30% again Jan.1.

Have A Happy And Productive Holiday Season,

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