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Why December is the Best Time for Job Seeking

Why December is the Best Time for Job Seeking

by Geoff Balmer

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Many people suspend their job hunt over the holiday season thinking that this time of year is slow for hiring. In reality, it’s anything but. Here at Richard Lloyd we see very little down time between November and the start of January, and it isn’t just us who are busy. In many businesses we see things carrying on right up until Christmas Eve. In fact, according to Fortune magazine, a survey of recruiters by ExecuNet found that 69% place as many, or even more, candidates in December as any other month.

If you’re like many others in the accounting sector and put your job search on hold at this time of year, here are several key reasons why you should re-consider!

Competition Drops Dramatically

A lot of people still believe the myth that employers don’t hire in November and December, thinking that due to the approaching holiday season, companies often take the opportunity and close their office for a couple of weeks. Even if active job seekers are aware that employers are still looking, many will also opt to take a break regardless, preferring to spend time relaxing with family and friends, picking up their job search again in the new year.

However, despite the perception that everything slows to a snail’s pace, there are still employers who need to fill their vacancies and don’t have the luxury of waiting until part-way through January after they have had an extended break. You may find that this time of year can actually be the easiest job market to successfully find a new position as the Sydney accounting candidate pool shrinks and therefore there is a much greater chance to stand out. The latter part of January and early February are some of the tougher and most competitive months as school is back, summer holidays are over and everyone is back on ‘deck’.

Work Loads Lighten

As the holidays approach, and people start to take leave, depending on your industry, there is generally less business critical day-to-day work on the table. Those organisations who end their year in December, although potentially a busier time for them, may need to prioritise more heavily on interviewing and hiring due to budget that needs to be used. For other organisations, where workload may be lighter, there can still be the impetus to finalise recruitment before taking a break.  Either way, because of this focus, you may have better odds of successfully landing an interview and ultimately your ideal job.

As a bonus, it’s also an easier time of year to ensure a solid handover when leaving your current position. As work slows down, you’ll have more time to devote to creating hand-over guides and training your successor, leaving you with a glowing reputation and reference for the future (read more on writing the perfect resignation letter here). Finding a new role by December also means that most likely you can start your new job on the first day back after the break, feeling much more energised than if you were returning to a job that was no longer fulfilling.

Lighter workloads can also be beneficial if you’re not a full-time job seeker. Not having the stress of a heavy workload in the office can help you to have a clearer mind when thinking about your next move, making it a perfect time to assess your approach and give your CV a spring clean.

Cheerful Holiday Moods

Who doesn’t love holidays, especially in December when everyone seems to be in a good mood? We’ve noticed that most accounting managers in Sydney are more open to meeting new candidates over the Holiday season (after all, it is the season for charity and grace!). With the excitement of time off on the horizon, and a typically decreasing workload thereby easing the day-to-day stresses, there is a greater chance to charm a potential employer during this time of year. While operating under a more open and approachable mindset, hiring managers will be more inclined to recognise the positive traits of a job seeker. Job searching under these circumstances increases your chances of walking out of your interview having successfully secured a role for the new year.

Employers Begin Filling Positions with More Urgency

Unforeseen resignations have been known to happen after people receive year-end bonuses creating a vacancy just before the break. Even if a departure was expected, managers often don’t want to have to deal with the worry about filling the gap while they’re trying to enjoy themselves over the holidays. For some, there is also pressure when it comes to budget, with many companies having a “use it or lose it” policy. This starts the clock ticking to hire someone in a hurry, otherwise it’s too late come January.

With this time constraint, employers may exercise less caution, and fill a role with more urgency (not that we’d recommend they do this!). Managers know the importance of starting the new year off on the right foot, so are likely to be more focused to bring someone in right away to fill their vacancy.

As the talent pool lessens at this time of year, good candidates are more likely to stand out with their perseverance through the holidays. An employer will be more grateful to find the right fit, allowing them to head into January with the peace of mind of a full complement of staff.

In addition, this isn’t just a good time to be looking for a permanent role for the coming year. With various people on leave throughout the organisation, it’s not uncommon for temporary staff to be drafted in to cover for those who are away. This makes it a great opportunity to take on a contract role and get some experience within a different organisation to elevate your career.

Holidays Bring Great Networking Opportunities

The Holiday season can be a real networking goldmine for you to use to your advantage. If you’re somewhere that offers the possibility of meeting new people, take the opportunity to introduce yourself. Make a point to talk to three new people – it’s a basic networking tip, but if you’re looking for a job around this time of the year, then you’d be wise to take advantage of the opportunity.

Closing Thoughts

With a lot of job seekers taking holidays, you’re already ahead of the pack if you continue to actively look for a new position. Make a point to do at least one thing every day towards your goal, no matter how small, and you’ll be diving into a fresh accounting role before the new year has even begun!

Looking for new opportunities or not sure where to start? Feel free to get in touch with the team today.

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