I’m ready to move on from my current job. With the holiday season having begun though, I assume it’s probably about the worst time to look for a new job. Should I wait until everyone gets back in the game in January so that my resume doesn’t get lost in the holiday shuffle?


Actually, this is one of the best times of the year to prepare for a switch and look for new opportunities, so I’m glad you asked this question in November instead of at the end of December.

Hopefully over the Thanksgiving break you took some time to relax and recharge, connect and create. Because now it’s time for strategy.

Before you approach anyone in business or life for anything, first set down your glasses and see the situation through the other person’s eyes. You knew if you brought a bottle of good Scotch to Uncle Jake’s Thanksgiving feast that he’d drink it and promptly start hitting on your wife, so you opted for chocolates instead.

Consider the perspective of a hiring manager right now. To begin with, there are a few things going on at companies during this time of year that work in your favor, including:

Year-end review of company objectives. Many executives are breaking out the company or organization’s list of goals for the year and determining where they fell short and how they can fix it. This process often ends with the realization that new or additional talent is needed within the company.

The thinking is that if they get a batch of resumes in December, they can set up interviews in the coming weeks and/or early January, enabling them to start off the New Year with the fresh talent they need.

The year is winding down and the New Year is dawning. From CEOs to secretaries, everyone tends to downshift after Thanksgiving. The pace is less intense and the phone rings less often, for the simple fact that there is shopping to do, a party to attend and vacation time to take.

Many people use this time to wrap up year-end details so they can start with a clear desk when they return in January. Overall, they are typically not in aggressive pursuit of contracts or deadlines and have a less severe perspective right now. This allows them to do things like look at resumes and muse about how candidates like you can help create a stronger, more profitable year ahead.

People are out of the office. Especially for people who work for a company with a “use it or lose it” vacation time policy, offices are far emptier during this time of year. This creates an easier interviewing environment, especially if the search is designed to replace a current employee.

Having looked at this from a hiring manager’s perspective, let’s return to yours. You have a few things working your favor during this time of year as well:

Year-end review of your objectives. Take a look at your year so far. Are you where you wanted to be in your career? Did you advance your education or skill set as you had intended? Did you start telecommuting two days per week as planned? Did you get to the gym and to Timmy’s soccer games as you had hoped? Does your marriage consist of more communication and intimacy than an air kiss as you grab your thermal coffee mug and race out the door?

Before you transition to another role at a different company, it’s important to review your own objectives for your work and your life. If telecommuting is an important benefit for you, know that before you apply with an employer who doesn’t offer it. If the job involves 60% travel, can you (and your family) live with that? If you wish to gain more education or certifications, does your prospective new employer offer tuition reimbursement? What kind of job would advance your overall career? Or do you simply seek a lateral move to escape a toxic work environment?

The year is winding down and the New Year is dawning. Because the pace is slower now and you’re not constantly on deadline with your current job, you have the opportunity to research more companies, review more job listings and submit more resumes.

This year, give yourself the gift of the work-life balance you seek by taking these last weeks of the year to carefully evaluate your options and position yourself for new success in the New Year.

People are out of the office, including you. Use your vacation time to not only deck the halls but also to stack the deck for a better career opportunity. From research to resumes to interviews, get in front of the people you want to work with who are looking for you to resolve their end-of-year woes.

You and your next employer are both looking for a better way to work in January, so use this downtime to kick your career up a notch.