Should you keep up the job hunt over the holidays?

Monday, December 21, 2020

The end of the year has often been a slow time for hiring, as new job postings typically dwindle in December and decision-makers take time off for the holidays. If you're one of the many Canadians currently looking for your next position, should you stop your job search now, or keep up the momentum until the very end of 2020?

Rob Kim, a career strategist at The University of British Columbia, advises jobseekers to approach the festive period like an NBA or NHL athlete would approach their off-season.

Among his top suggestions:

Recharge and regenerate.

Some players look at time off as an opportunity to recuperate with friends and family before the season starts back up again. For jobseekers, that means taking a break for a few days and doing what you need to do to stay motivated and ready for opportunities that will appear in the new year.

Learn and improve on a skill.

The busyness of the regular season doesn’t provide time to develop new skills. Companies may slow down their hiring over the holidays, so use this time to develop your skills before the job posting season begins anew.
Focus on specific strategies.

Before re-engaging with the job market, consider reconnecting with former friends and colleagues, revamping your LinkedIn profile or focusing on building one effective accomplishment statement a day.

Reflect and reframe.

As this challenging year draws to a close, use a year-in-review approach to take some time to reflect on your processes. Acknowledge the small wins. Consider taking stock of your values, skills, and interests. Recognizing where you could potentially fit may lead to new directions in the new year, especially as new opportunities will arise from an altered work landscape.

LinkedIn data insights:

Some 78 per cent of unemployed Canadians reported feeling “somewhat” or “very” stressed about their job-seeking activity in the past month, with just 8% reporting feeling “somewhat” or “very” relaxed about it, according to LinkedIn’s most recent Workforce Confidence Index for Canada. Also in the report:

Short-term job security scores edged down to +41 in the most recent survey, down from +45 and +49 in previous waves.
Perceived jobs availability also fell from September, with anticipated jobs either decreasing or flattening going into December – except in sales and education roles.
Canadians were split over how to approach the holidays: Some 38% planned to spend more time looking for their next job or project opportunity compared to the same period last year, while 37% said they would spend the same amount of time and just 24% would spend less time on it.

The big picture

Canada added 62,000 jobs in November, the slowest gain in employment growth since the recovery began in May. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.5%, according to Statistics Canada. Employment fell the most in industries most directly affected by recent public health restrictions, especially in accommodation and food services.

Nearly one in four Canadians is considering switching jobs or careers as a result of the pandemic, according to a new report from Morneau Shepell. Those under 40 were twice as likely to consider such a move, according to the report. 

Thousands of Canada's post-graduate work permit holders are risking removal from the country as they struggle to secure jobs needed to qualify for immigration over the pandemic, The Toronto Star reports. Read more.

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