5 Reasons to Keep Up the Job Search During the Holiday Season

5 Reasons to Keep Up the Job Search During the Holiday Season
d3sign/Getty Images

Yes, more than the usual number of hiring managers will have their “away” messages turned on over the next month or so. And yes, your ideal job probably doesn’t involve retail sales or tree delivery, so your preferred industry may not be in the middle of a hiring blitz.


It may be tempting to unplug from the job search, and it’s always important to balance family needs with any career choices. However, there are some arguments for staying active.


Think Long-Term

The average hiring process takes three to six weeks, according to LinkedIn, but those figures may be skewed by lower-level positions with immediate needs that require less scrutiny. Management positions, with multiple interview rounds, may involve a process lasting well beyond six weeks.


[NEW MOAA BENEFIT: Save on Virtual Coaching With BetterUp]


So don’t be worried about applying or interviewing as the season progresses – instead of seeing it as a holiday complication, look at it as a way to get ahead on a long process, one that likely won’t be finished until well after the leftovers are gone.


Flex Appeal

If you’re looking for new employment while maintaining your current position, or even if you’re between jobs, your holiday slate may fill fast. From travel to family commitments to year-end to-do lists, scheduling can become complicated.


But as this Indeed.com piece points out, applicants are far from the only ones with challenging calendars. Many companies shut down or limit projects during the holidays. If you’re interested in more time between positions, a transition at the start of the year may be ideal. Conversely, if you’re ready to make an impact, highlighting your immediate availability during an interview may help tilt the scales for companies facing low holiday staffing levels.


[RELATED: Want to Impress Potential Employers? Become a ‘Known Commodity’]


Networking Opportunities

Even if you’re not sending out applications, chances are you’ll be in a position to network over the holidays, whether it’s an office party or even a family get-together. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to connect – you never know where your next chance may come from.


Need some tips? Check out MOAA’s “12 Days of Christmas” Career Transition Challenge. Partridges and/or pear trees not required.


Budget Basics

Financials vary by company, but as this Forbes.com piece suggests, some firms may enter the new calendar year with a new staffing budget line. That could mean more open positions in January.


While those jobs might not be posted, recruiters and hiring manager may know they’re around the corner. Keeping up with your contacts in December could put you at the front of the line.


[RELATED: 4 Reasons to Keep Networking, Even When You’re Not in ‘Job Search Mode’]


Extra! Extra!

A few smaller points (and perks) on the holiday-season job search, courtesy of The Balance:

  • Dress for Success: Take advantage of holiday deals on new professional attire.
  • Fill-In Favorite: A freelance gig or temporary position over the short-staffed holiday season could result in full-time employment … or at least a little extra holiday cash.
  • Smaller Crowds: While the stores may be packed, the roster of potential job candidates may be thin over the holidays. While others take a break, you’ll have a greater chance to stand out.


No matter the season, visit MOAA.org/Careers for more transition support, including helpful articles, archived webinars, member-exclusive publications, links to upcoming MOAA events, and much more.


Upcoming MOAA Transition and Career Events

More MOAA Events

About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley