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VOL. 130 | NO. 225 | Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Angela Copeland

Getting Ahead This Holiday Season

By Angela Copeland

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One of the biggest misconceptions about the holidays is that your career can take a back seat until January. Don’t get me wrong. Family festivities and reconnecting with close friends is important. But putting your career on the back burner for two months is a big mistake.

Often, if a job seeker hasn’t looked for a job in some time, they tend to underestimate how long it will take to find a new job. The same holds true if they are at a more senior level or make more money now than they were the last time they looked. The higher you go in your career, the fewer positions are available and the longer the process takes.

Many people set a personal goal to find the perfect, great-paying job in just a few weeks. They can be devastated to find that job seeking can take months. It can often be a difficult experience, leaving the job seeker wondering what they did wrong.

If your goal is to find a job in early 2016, the time to start is now. One of the best things about the holidays are all those parties you get invited to. From Thanksgiving to the new year, make a point to go to as many as you can. Use them as a time to not only reconnect with old friends, but also as a time to network.

Bring business cards, and give them away to the people you meet. Follow up on LinkedIn. Schedule coffee meetings. Look for opportunities to get to know those around you in more detail. Find out how you can help one another.

Take the time to update your application materials. Start revising your resume now. It can be quite a daunting task, especially if you wait until the last minute. Review your LinkedIn profile, and update it to match your most current employment information. Be sure you’re using a current picture and begin connecting to the new people you’re meeting at holiday parties. Prepare a sample cover letter and begin monitoring job postings that appear online.

If you need a new interview suit or shoes, the day after Thanksgiving can be a perfect time to find them. Many stores mark their suits and dress shoes down 50 percent or more. With some of the money you save, take your new suit to a tailor and have it taken in so it looks like it was made just for you.

When you have the time to update your job search materials thoroughly, you may find that it takes two weeks to two months to complete. Perfecting these things over the holidays will ensure you’re at the front of the pack when January rolls around. It’s amazing how quickly companies throw hiring into high gear in the new year.

If your goal is to create a new you in the new year, the time to start is now. Do your homework over the holidays and you’ll find yourself dominating the competition in January.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.

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