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10 Career Success Strategies For The Holidays

Thursday, December 14th, 2017 | Posted in Ford Myers

Every year as the holidays approach, most job-seekers and career changers make the mistake of halting all their efforts.

They believe there is no point in pursuing new opportunities during the holidays, and that nobody is making hiring decisions until late January, so “why bother?” Many decide to do absolutely nothing from mid-November to the second or third week in January! Making these kinds of assumptions about the holidays is a huge error!

When it comes to the holidays, I suggest you become a “contrarian” – and do what all the other job seekers are not doing. Since most of them are taking an extended break, this opens up real opportunities for you!

The reality is that the holiday season is an excellent time to develop and create new contacts for your job search or career transition. Many companies are completing their budget planning for the next fiscal year. This is often the best time to get in front of hiring managers, many of whom have to fill openings early in the year or possibly lose their budget for that position. Also, once year-end bonuses are paid, a certain percentage of employees will leave their jobs, creating many new vacancies!

Here are 10 Career Success Strategies for the Holidays: 

  1. It’s all about relationships. 

Business is all about establishing relationships – and relationships are developed in social settings! During the holidays, most people are naturally more convivial and generous in spirit. There is simply no better time to solidify existing relationships and forge new ones!

  1. Network, Network, Network.

There are many networking events in December – in your social life, in your community, and in your professional circles. Think of all the companies having holiday parties! Many charities have their last fundraisers of the year in November and December. Bake sales, holiday fairs and other celebrations make this the best time of year for productive networking!

  1. Small talk reaps big benefits. 

Most professional associations have a holiday party for their December meeting, with a more informal atmosphere than the formal presentations held throughout the rest of the year. Do not take resumes to these events. Instead, bring a simple, tasteful business card with your name, phone number, and e-mail address. Be prepared to make interesting small talk to establish new contacts. Ask the people you meet about themselves, their work, and their interests. Remember, everyone’s favorite subject is “themselves!”

  1. Conversation starters and stoppers.

Prior to a social or networking event, prepare at least three engaging questions you can ask, such as:

  • How do you know the host, the company, etc.?
  • What made you decide to come to this event?
  • What other organizations in this industry do you belong to?

If you find it’s time to move on and talk with someone new, you’ll need some phrases to help you graciously curtail the conversation. Here are some good “exit lines:”

  • I’ll let you go now, so you can continue circulating around the room.
  • I’ll stop monopolizing your time so you can meet some other folks.
  • It was great speaking with you. I’ll follow-up as we discussed. 
  1. Volunteer

There are more volunteer opportunities around the holidays than at any other time of year. This is a good way to help other people, feel good when you need a boost, have a renewed sense of purpose during your search, and meet other professionals. Volunteering also gives you something interesting to discuss with the new people you meet!

  1. Call People

Use the day after the holiday to make both follow-up calls and new outreach calls. You’ll find that whoever is at work that day will not only be available for a conversation but will be grateful to speak to someone! If there are people who you’ve been having a hard time reaching, be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

  1. Send Holiday Cards

career success strategiesPick a seasonal, nondenominational theme – usually, a depiction of a winter scene is best. This is the time to send cards to everyone on your “career list,” including executive search firms, Human Resource professionals, hiring managers and people with whom you have networked over the past year. Don’t write about your job search in the card. Send your cards early enough for people to remember to invite you to their holiday get-togethers! Be sure to include your contact information with the card, so the recipient can reach you.

  1. ‘Tis Better to Give than to Receive

Remember the old saying popular at this time of year, “Tis better to give than to receive.” This is certainly true when you’re attempting to connect with people during the holidays. The fastest and most effective strategy for getting help is “give to get.” Ask the people in your network who they might like an introduction to, or if there is any way that you can be of service to them. Become a real “connector,” and in turn, you will get “connected!”

  1. Build Your Online Presence

Technology has come a long way. Use the holidays to connect and reconnect with people on networking platforms, such as and Connect with local businesspeople in cyberspace and then take your connection “live” with a face-to-face meeting. Post articles or comments on social media websites. This will help to increase your online visibility and credibility, eventually leading to more employers and recruiters reaching out to you!

  1. Be an Opportunity Magnet

At holiday time, some jobseekers tend to become overly negative or cynical during what they perceive as a “lull” in their career transition. Don’t fall into this trap. Get into positive action precisely when others are “giving up” until early next year. Think and speak positively, and you’ll become an opportunity magnet – ready to attract, interview, and “hire” your next employer.

career success strategiesIf you’re in career transition or looking to move up within your current organization, these strategies should give you a new perspective on the holidays!

Instead of “taking a vacation” from your career development activities, take full advantage of this overlooked opportunity to make real progress in your quest. Then, you’ll really have something to celebrate!

About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at

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