Don’t Underestimate Holiday Hiring as You Plan Your Next Career Move
I have a client pursuing a career reinvention who recently said she was going to lay low until after the holidays because she didn’t think hiring would happen until the new year. I encouraged her and any job seeker to activate now since the career market has an urgency like never before to recruit and hire talent.
Josh Bersin writes about corporate talent, learning, and HR technology and shared this wisdom in a recent publication:
“The labor market has gone a bit crazy. In the United States, there are more than 161 million people working and 15.7 million jobs open. This means that roughly one in 10 seats in your office are empty, and you’re competing with everyone else for staff. Adding to this frenzy, the job creation continues. This month more than 530,00 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate is now down to 4.6% (and dropping). In fact, Citibank’s economist unit believes that next year we will have more than 20 million job openings in the US, bringing the percentage of seats unfilled to one in eight.”
In the supply and demand equation, top talent has the advantage and the time to capitalize on designing and landing your next career move is now.
Employment Optimism is High
As the Great Resignation continues to unfold, people are leaving positions to find better opportunities that honor their skills, strengths, and values. According to a McKinsey study two-thirds of these job seekers do not yet have a place to go. The optimism for greener pastures is high.
As the McKinsey report details, the Great Attrition is real and widespread across industries and there is a 40% likelihood that employees will leave their current job in the next 3-6 months.
Be a Savvy Candidate
With top talent in high demand, the onus is on you to be prepared and to make yourself visible and recruitable – even during the holidays.
Start with self-reflection to clarify what you are looking for. Why did you leave your last organization? What will make a new work culture appealing and sustainable? Give yourself some important think-time to define your career goals and your next move.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you looking for advancement?
- Are you looking for a career change or reinvention?
- What do you need in a company culture?
- What are the values you are seeking to align? A commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Upward mobility? Flexible or remote work environment?
Write Your Dream Job Description
People often get hung up on job titles and poorly written job descriptions that don’t honor the true nature of a role. I encourage you to write your ideal job description as an exercise and intentionally leave off the job title for now and focus on tasks that energize you.
Use the 80/20 rule to craft a job description with at least 80% (more is better!) of the tasks that you absolutely love doing. This could require additional self-reflection to ponder your superpowers and the types of tasks, projects, and assignments that left you feeling a sense of satisfaction when time flew, and the work was invigorating. Remember, you can include tasks you aspire to do as well.
This is your sweet spot and will help you look wisely for new roles that honor your strengths and also meet the needs of an employer. You must gain clarity about what kinds of tasks you desire moving forward. Get specific and granular and deconstruct the tasks from your previous roles to envision a new role that makes you excited to pursue.
Know Your Value-Add
The dream job description exercise is also helpful because you can use these task nuggets to help others understand your value-add and contribution to an organization. If you are a stellar manager of people, with stories to qualify this competency, this information will become part of your networking narrative, your resume and LinkedIn profile, and ultimately part of your interview language for a new role.
Capitalize on those who offer to help you network. Be clear about what you are looking for and the value you bring, so they can intelligently and accurately share with others. You must be pro-active with your network and help them help you.
When it comes to job references, be sure to empower your people with a current resume, the reasons why you want the job, and why you believe you would be terrific in the role. A lukewarm reference can leave a hiring manager with the wrong impression, so choose your references wisely and update them regularly about your progress.
The end of the year hiring can be fast and furious trying to navigate PTO for current employees and holiday festivities. Make an effort to be available for oddly timed interviews (most of which are still virtual) and show your enthusiasm and willingness to be flexible. You might land a new role with a signing bonus and a negotiated start date in 2022 that honors what you truly desire in a career.
Don’t discount end of the year hiring. This is an opportune time to seek and land a role that honors what you want in life and career if you come to the hiring table well prepared.