By Maureen Drum Fagin, Director of Career Services
If you’ve found yourself in the market for a job post-Thanksgiving, you may be tempted to wait until the New Year to truly dive into your search. Why bother pounding the pavement when no one’s hiring—or in the case of restaurants, when a chef/owner is too slammed with holiday business to interview or train you properly?
Here are 5 reasons why there’s no time like the present to get out there:
1. The fact that you’re signing up during the busiest, most stressful time of the year shows a potential employer that you’re not afraid of hard work. Better yet, If you’re coming to their rescue by filling in for an inconsiderate, no-show cook, you’ve already added bonus points to your application.
2. This is the most social time of the year! You’re getting together with friends and family, and if you’re actively engaged in a job search, chances are that will come up in conversation. The more people who know what you’re looking for, the more ears to the ground you’ve got out there. This is particularly good advice to keep in mind for some of the non-traditional areas of the food industry, like food media or marketing, which rely heavily on networking for the recruitment of candidates.
3. The pool of available, qualified candidates is much smaller this time of year, because any cook who wants to use their current chef or manager as a reference in the future would never jump ship during the holidays! Those are looking for a chance typically stay put through the holiday rush and reevaluate options in January/February. Available openings right now should be seen as mission-critical positions, and your resume is much more likely to get consideration when not buried in a flood of applications.
4. Some positions will be listed as temporary—created simply to keep up with the demands of the season. If you’re a savvy jobseeker and make a point of getting to know the ins and outs of the business during your time there, you’ll be first in line for a permanent position once one opens up.
5. Getting out there now gives you a psychological advantage over other job seekers who fall in to the “New Year’s Resolution” camp, vowing to “get serious” about a new career once the Times Square ball drops. If you’ve already taken care of resume writing, interview preparations, and arranging meetings/trails, you’ll be the candidate with a job offer firmly in hand.
So resist the trend to wait until the holidays are over—because a new career is the best gift anyone could ask for.