The build up to the festive season has begun; the red cups are ensconced in Starbucks, the Co-co cola advert has hit our screens and the Christmas lights are close to brightening up the cold winter evenings.  The Christmas period is quite often a double edged sword for job seekers as things quieten down. It is also the time a whole new raft of redundancies can be expected as companies clear the decks before the New Year, albeit the worst time to face the emotional roller coaster that often comes with redundancy.

How can you make the most of the Festive period?

The advertised job market becomes significantly quieter in December and those who have secured positions recently look forward to the January start dates. Should you give up? The answer is no, make the most of the festive period.

Use the time to research your market

When we are working we have little or no time to think about the industry we are in and the market we are targeting. The day to day tasks get in the way and we find the usual excuses of being too busy and meeting deadlines. Now you have more free time then utilise it to gather all of the market intelligence you can. Knowledge is power and this ensures that you identify the people you should be talking to. Never rely on a recruiter to do this for you.

Network, network, network

The biggest challenge for most job seekers is making themselves network and having business conversations with people they know. All too often people are scared because they feel that they are asking their nearest and dearest for help, and this can be difficult. We also assume that people will tell us if they hear about potential opportunities, do remember your priority is your job search, theirs is something different. You have to maintain control.

The festive period is the perfect time to network in a more natural way. We are usually much more social at this time of year, attending more events, parties and gatherings. Take the opportunity to talk to all of your contacts in a relaxing environment, a few moments to talk about what you are looking for and how they might be able to help. Expand your Christmas card list- there may be a few people you have let fall off the radar. Even recruiters have more time to talk to you in December!

Enjoy yourself

Ensure you set time aside to enjoy yourself, set your list of tasks to achieve, updating the job boards, identifying target companies, chasing up recruiters and so on. Plan your activity for the New Year. Once you have ticked off all of your goals off then enjoy your sherry and mince pie. Sometimes taking a couple of days break from the job search can reenergise you.