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Should you search for a job during the holiday season?

As the end of the year approaches, it gets easier to justify not doing things until later. “I’m awfully busy right now. I’ll start my diet/gym routine/job hunt in the new year, when things are calmer.” Is this reasonable logic? It is. But it may be costing you valuable job opportunities.

Here are 7 reasons you should consider making a job search part of your holiday festivities this year.

7 reasons to start your job search during the holidays

Hiring is year-round

The end of the year is no different than any other time of year: people leave jobs, and those jobs need to be filled. Or, companies are looking ahead to the new year and want to have staff in place as soon as possible after the ball drops in Times Square. The hiring keeps buzzing along, holidays or not.

There’s less competition

While others are out waiting in line doing their last-minute shopping or putting stamps on 549 holiday cards, there are fewer people focused on job searches. In the new year, there are likely to be hordes of other people seeking out job listings and ads, while openings that pop up in December go under the radar. If you’re keeping an eye out for a new job opportunity while most other people are focusing on other things, you could have an advantage.

You can think short-term and long-term

Many places hire seasonal staff to get through the holidays. But that temporary gig could turn into a permanent one. You’re already in place, you have the skills they want, and now you have a toe in the door. This makes you a great candidate when a more permanent job opens up.

You can look now, but start later

Because many companies are looking ahead to staffing needs in January and February, it may be that the job you’re applying for now may not even start until after the holidays. But if you wait until January to put those feelers out, it may already be too late to score those upcoming jobs.

The holidays have built-in networking opportunities

What better time of year is there to say, “Let’s go out and grab a holiday drink” or write, “It’s been a while, and I’d love to catch up with you” in a holiday card. The holidays are a time when people get sentimental about relationships and feel a little extra social. You never know what opportunities can pop up if you put a little extra work into networking this time of year.

Holiday vacation isn’t necessarily off the table

One of the biggest concerns about job hunting during the holidays is, “What if I get it and can’t accommodate my existing holiday plans?” If you have a non-refundable flight over the holidays and your new job offer comes with a non-negotiable start date the day before you’re scheduled to travel… well, that might not be the right opportunity for you. But some companies are willing to negotiate a start date–say, January 2.

Extra money comes in handy this time of year

A new job often comes with a bump in pay, and for many people, this is a time of year fraught with extra expenses and indulgences. Sticking with your job search during the holidays could be a bonus if you score a new job and a pay raise right before all those credit card bills come due.

The holiday season may feel like a time you should be focusing on the personal over the professional, but if you put in time and effort into the job hunt while others are putting theirs on hold, you could find great opportunities.

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