What to do right now to secure a job in January

Nina Gordon
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December 4, 2019

In 2017, 6 of the top 10 job search days on Monster were in January.

Must be something about spending a load of time with our nearest and dearest that gives us itchy feet. But is it REALLY the best time to start your job search?

Executives have run the numbers and know who they need for their team and if they can afford them. There’ll also be a number of positions recently opened due to post bonus resignations.

Companies have more money, time and resources to hire people than at any other time of year. However, this also means they’re in no rush, Finalising interviews and getting contracts signed can take longer. While a lot of jobs are advertised in January, most aren’t filled for another month or so.

And let’s face it, with more people hitting send on their CV, competition is higher. You’re going to need to do something to stand out. And that something could be as simple as waiting until mid-Jan to make your move. 

OR spending the time between now and then adding skills to your CV which will take you from a good applicant to a GREAT one. 

Here’s what the experts say you should do:

Spend some time refreshing your skills. It’s always great to see where people have tried to improve themselves and expand their skill set. Not only does it show you’ve thought about the skills you need for your current role, but you also show you’re adaptable and committed to growing, which is exactly what most hiring managers need!

Allie van Helfteren, Talent Acquisition Lead at Dr Martens. Jobs at Dr Martens

Do your homework, check on your LinkedIn to see if any ex-colleagues currently work there or have worked there previously. Hiring managers love assurance on someone's ability and character from someone they trust and in the past. I've known managers to skip the interview process and go straight to offer just from a strong recommendation internally.

Ollie Ovel, Founder of Wave Talent — Product Design Recruitment Specialists.

Christmas is a brilliant time for networking! There are so many festive business events. It's much easier to make moves in your industry when you have a network of advocates talking you up.

Sinead Lennon Smith, Associate Director at Kennedy Pearce. Jobs through Kennedy Pearce.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Could you get to the top 1% of your industry?

Empower your team to go and shine.