Job hunting over the festive season reaps rewards. The Christmas and New Year period is a great time to plan for the future, develop your skills and look for a new job.
The approach of the festive season brings out two types of candidates: one who will wait until the New Year to start their search, and one who will jump right in and start looking now, says Eliza Kirkby, regional director at Hays.
After all, employers know the skills they need for the New Year, says Kirkby, and want them to start in early January.
With many Aussies waiting until after Christmas to start their job search and commit to their resolution of finding a new job, those who get in early stand out in a smaller candidate pool. There are plenty of other good reasons to start now instead of waiting until the New Year.
- You have time to think. Life in the 21st century is busy. So after you’ve indulged in Christmas parties and taken time off with loved ones, set yourself a job hunt agenda. Spend an hour a day of your holiday dedicated to finding either a new job or the opportunity to add new skills to your resume.
- Industries that are hiring: Some industries are always hiring over the festive season. Hospitality, tourism, and retail operate at their peak over Christmas and New Year which makes it a great time for jobseekers to be onsite looking and applying for opportunities. The top categories in Australia for these industries are chefs and cooks, management and waiting staff, and retail assistants, management store and department management. New South Wales usually shows the greatest demand for staff.
- Get your profile out there: Even if you’re just monitoring the job market you know it’s worth getting your name out there. Take this time to update your career plan, online profile, and resume. A stand out profile will help work come to you. Sometimes potential employers get in contact out of the blue. Or maybe it’s time to reach out to that company you’ve always wanted to work for.
- Pick up temporary work. If you need work now there may be temporary assignments available over Christmas, says Kirkby.
- Or consider part-time opportunities: Part-time work could be a foot in the door or opportunity to gain skills that may be missing from your resume. With many industries requiring more resources part-time can be a stepping stone to full-time work. What’s more, keep an open mind about industries. They may have excellent transferrable skills and can broaden your experience.
- Volunteer: Christmas is a great time to reflect and give back. Volunteering looks good on your resume and it can also be a valuable source of new skills and experience. Check out SEEK Volunteer for a wide range of opportunities. Likewise working part-time, or setting up a business on the side of your day job can lead to new openings.
- Catch up on your networking. Sometimes it’s difficult to find time to mix and mingle with the right people. Take this time to send out a few emails and even catch up with old colleagues. It can really pay off.
Finally, make sure you do take a break. Do the things for yourself that you always mean to but don’t have time. It will recharge your batteries. If you’re serious about the new you and future opportunities, take some time to promote your entire skillset.