Whether you are looking to move up or out, now is not the time to take a career holiday.
The year-end holiday season presents both opportunities and pitfalls to people looking for new jobs, as well as to those seeking to improve their positions at the jobs they already have.
Which, when you think about it, is pretty much everybody.
Opportunities include enhanced networking opportunities (all those parties!) and potential access to hiring managers (the gatekeepers are maybe taking some time off).
But there are a few big “don’ts,” too, the biggest of which is don’t put a job search on hold during the holidays. It’s absolutely not true that employers stop hiring during this time; they may in fact have money left in their budgets this year and are looking for people they can bring on board before Dec. 31.
Other behaviors to avoid are:
Don’t whine about having to job hunt during the holidays. While you may be feeling the stress, you don’t want to display the stress. You just don’t.
Don’t avoid your workplace holiday party. If you’re seeking advancement at a company, you will obviously not blow off any “optional” functions. If you’re looking for the exit, you may think it’s not necessary to make an appearance at a soon-to-be ex-employer’s holiday do. But make the effort because later, when you do leave, you want people thinking positive thoughts about you. Not, “Ha, he didn’t even bother coming to our party.”
Don’t try to save money by skipping holiday cards. If you’re out of work or underemployed you may well be looking for ways to economize. But holiday cards strengthen networks and renew ties, and are an ideal way to tastefully remind people of your existence.
Don’t hand out your resume at parties, but do have it updated and ready to go. Who knows, Uncle George may come through and introduce you to his CEO neighbor or HR manager college chum.
Don’t drink too much at parties. Maintaining your personal image is important whether you’re job hunting or reaching for that next rung on the career ladder. Yes, it’s party season and you may be forgiven for wanting to let your hair down. But, please, limit your overindulgence to goodwill toward others.
Meanwhile, enjoy the holidays! It really is a cozy time.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at email@example.com.