Manage Expectations When Looking For Work At Year End

Manage Expectations When Looking For Work At Year End


People who are looking for work as the year comes to a close are facing a harsh reality: unemployment is nearing 10 percent and the job opportunities are scarce. Moreover, looking for work from about Thanksgiving on through the new year is even more of a challenge: this year, some companies are putting off their hiring decisions until after the first of the year in a bid to save money and find out how Congress plans to address payroll tax issues. Or so the thinking goes.

That’s small comfort to more than 15 million people who are unemployed and wanting to work. Unemployment has been at or above 9.5 percent for 16 consecutive months a level reached when America supposedly exited the recession.[1]

December Job Hunting

Not everyone agrees that hiring is completely curtailed during the holiday season. Sinara Stull O’Donnell, writing for a Dallas-Fort Worth non-profit whose mission is “Giving you the tools you need to land your next great opportunity,” contends otherwise.

O’Donnell addresses what she calls “five myths about holiday job hunting,” noting that companies do hire in December and, yes, people who hire are very busy. However, in her position as an executive and corporate recruiter, O’Donnell did hire people in December including on Christmas Eve when supposedly no one is thinking about anything besides Christmas.[2]

One myth worth paying a lot of attention to is O’Donnell’s second one: “You won’t find the job you really want in December.” She contends that this statement is not true and notes that December can be a good month to find work because a lot of people have bought into this myth. Holiday parties can be an excellent time to network, noting that “winners” keep looking for work all year round.

Holiday Season Schedules

Of course, holiday schedules and vacations can slow the process down and in the case of some companies who still shut down between Christmas and New Year’s Day stop the process altogether. However, if a key person has recently left the company and must be quickly replaced, even a company shut down may not stop hiring.

O’Donnell shared one story where candidates were interviewed on New Year’s Day at a restaurant with the top candidates screened by the recruiter and their information forwarded to the company the next day when they reopened for business.


[1] Business & Media Institute: Not So Merry Jobs Report: Unemployment Up to 9.8 Percent

[2] Five Myths About Holiday Job Hunting

Resources Don’t Sing the Holidays* Blues:
A Six-Step Guide to Successful Job-Hunting Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s

Photo Credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian


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Categories: Career Planning

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".