Job Searching? Take These 3 Steps Now to Start the New Year Strong

By Erin Ewart

It’s mid-December, and the end of the year is so close we can taste it. Taking a break at the end of the year is always important, and this year we all need one more than ever. 

This is true if you’re job searching or in career transition too. You have to take breaks to keep your energy and motivation up during this process, or it’s very likely you will burn out. 

So if you’re planning to take a little break from your search over the holidays – great! Make sure to decompress and truly unplug for a few days if you can. 

But before you step away, there are three important things you can do to wrap up the year on a great note and make sure you’re prepared to hit the ground running again in January.

1. Follow up on any opportunities you’re in process with

In this competitive hiring market, you want to stay on employers’ radar and let them know that you’re still interested. Before you log off for the holidays, it’s a good idea to touch base with any organizations you’ve been communicating with, especially if they haven’t given you a definitive timeline for when they’ll be back in touch. 

Recruiters and hiring managers are deluged this time of year and their follow up with candidates often falls off as a result, so a quick touch base if it’s been a little while can be a good way to remind them that you’re still out there and they owe you an update. Organizations are often eager to close out hiring processes before the end of the year, so you may find that once you get in touch, things start to move quickly.

And at the very least, you want to get a sense of where they are in the process and when you can expect to hear from them, especially if you’ll be offline for a bit over the holidays.

2. Set up networking conversations for the new year

This is a great time of year to be reaching out, both to new folks you want to connect with and people you already know or talked to earlier in the year. Wish them happy holidays, share an update on where you are if you’ve been in touch already, and see if you can set up a conversation now for the new year.

Yes, people are likely slammed right now trying to finish everything out before they take their own time off, but January is a fresh blank canvas of unscheduled time. Take advantage of this and proactively schedule some calls for the new year, which will be a great way to help you get your momentum going again when you’re back.

And remember that organizations will often put off posting new roles until January, but they definitely have ideas now about what they’ll be hiring for in the new year. This is a good time to remind your contacts what you’re looking for so that they can keep you in mind for opportunities that are being scoped out for the new year.

3. Reflect, research, and plan

This is a natural time of year to think about what you might want to shift in the year ahead. Take some time to think about how your search has been going so far. What has been working, and what might you need to do differently in the new year?

Have you learned things this year that might change the focus of your search? Have you been pushing yourself out of your comfort zone enough? (For most people, the answer to this is no!). What people or organizations do you want to connect with or learn about as you move forward? What are the biggest things you need to focus on in the first few months of the year? 

Use our four question framework for this reflection process, then revisit and update your job search strategy and plans for Q1. And don’t forget to record and celebrate your accomplishments from this year! It’s been a tough year on so many fronts, and that makes it even more important to recognize and celebrate the things that went well.

Take these three steps and then enjoy your break, knowing that you’ll be ready to tackle your search with fresh energy, a clear mind, and a solid plan when you return. 

And if you like the idea of having support and accountability to jump start your job search in the new year, join us for our next round of Job Search Bootcamp starting after the holidays! We’d love to help you rev up your search and find meaningful work that’s the right fit for you in the new year. Join the interest list to be the first to learn when we announce the details and open the application. 

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