Holiday Job Hunting

Q: “Hi Sir Ruben. I’m an avid reader. Is it wise to continue job hunting during the Christmas season? I am currently in Manila, and I am torn between going to the province to celebrate the Christmas with my family, or to stay here to continue my job search.” (from Lito, Davao City)
A: Hi Lito. I cannot answer your question without making others frown or raise their eyebrows. It is like asking people to hate me for being “killjoy” during this time of merriment. But here goes:

Many jobseekers stop job hunting during the Christmas season. This is because of the belief that companies freeze hiring during the holidays.
While it is true that hiring tapers off during December, recruitment does not really stop during this season. In fact, there are some companies that advertise during this period; most of them are in dire need to fill their vacancies in the soonest possible time.
In addition, there are some hiring managers who need to utilize their budget before the end of the year. If they still have sufficient funds, they may allocate this to hiring new employees, so that training can start the first working day after the New Year. They start advertising during the Christmas season in anticipation of staffing problems in January.
In the case of some employees, most of those who consider resigning do so after they have received their 13th month pay. Many times their employers have not anticipated this and so they must scramble to fill up the position. Thus indeed, there are job opportunities waiting for you this Christmas.
Here are more reasons to continue job hunting during the Christmas season:
Lesser competition. A wise jobseeker will take advantage of the Christmas break. Since most of the competitions are on vacation, the chance to get recruited is probably high. Other job hunters are laid-back during this occasion. So it is advised that you continue your job search even at this time.
Take advantage of the holiday spirit. During the Christmas season most hiring managers seem to be in high spirits. They are looking forward to all the gatherings and parties, and thus seem to be more upbeat as compared with the other months of the year. This is the best time to engage them in light conversation, as they are more willing to listen. Besides, the hiring managers are less busy, and are more likely to be available for interviews. Remember, they are people. I am sure they will realize your sacrifice and determination to get a job.
Job offerings are immediate. Some of those who advertised are in desperate need for an employee. I remember one time I advertised for a position. There are those who sent their applications, but when I asked them for an interview, they asked to be rescheduled after the New Year, as they will be out-of-town. I was irate but there’s nothing I can do. Luckily there’s one qualified applicant who responded. He was willing to cut his holiday break so he can present himself for the interview. I handed him the contract on the 23rd day of December. He was happy, I was happier!
Not all companies take a long Christmas break. Most companies take only a few days off during Christmas season. Look at the classifieds section of the newspapers and you will still find a lot of job opportunities waiting for you. So do not assume there is no work during this period. In fact, there are some companies that are busier during this season. You will find businesses like restaurants, shopping malls, banks, and retailers buzzing with activity during this time.
While it is sad not being with your friends and loved ones during the many happy occasions this season if your home is far away, I am sure they will understand. There is time enough to have a full Christmas vacation when you already have a job. Stay focused, and have a happy job-hunting Christmas!

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders
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