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To network or not in December: that is the question!

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This question is asked every year about this time and the answer remains the same:  job seekers should keep on networking, especially in December! 

That urban myth that hiring managers aren’t making decisions in December has been proven false yet again.  ExecuNet’s recent survey says that 69% of third parties (search firms and placement agencies) place as many, if not more, candidates in December as during the rest of the year.

If you’re in serious job search mode, don’t even consider burrowing underground!  The holidays offer lots of opportunities to network so pick at least one of the following techniques if not all three:

  1. Go to as many holiday parties as possible, business cards in hand.  Some employers want to be prepared to hit the deck running come the New Year.  Others want to ensure they’ve maximized their salaries and benefits budgets before December 31.  Hiring managers are looking.   
  2. Touch base with friends and colleagues…including recruiters, mentors,  members of professional associations… via phone or social media.  Let them know you’re selectively searching for your next assignment.  Consider sending a “real”  card;  with more people on-line, a handwritten note often makes a bigger impact. 
  3. Get involved in the community.  Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and often reminds us that we already have what matters most in life:  health, family, friends.

Being in between assignments doesn’t define who you are.  Think of it as an opportunity to pause, re-assess what you do best every day and where you’d like to do it.  It’s cliche to say “be positive and confident” but both really do help, even when you’re not feeling either.  Lots of people have grabbed onto Dr. Phil’s ”fake it ’til you make it” mantra so what have you got to lose?  Go get ‘em!  Offers often present themselves when you least expect them.  What a prezzie to remember that would be!