The holidays are all about relaxing, not relaxing (shopping) and spending time with family and friends, right? Well, yes, but they’re also a time to look out for your accounting or finance career.
While most companies close for a few days during the holiday season, you should—in no way whatsoever—close your job hunt. In fact, for the following four reasons, the holidays might be one of the best times to advance your career.
A holiday bonus—or raise—from your current employer is no guarantee.
It’s time for your year-end review. Your paperwork is complete, you’re proud of your accomplishments and you’re confident your boss will rave about your performance. But, even then, there’s no guarantee your bank account will balloon. In fact, according to our “Holiday Bonus and Hiring Survey,” 25 percent of companies will not distribute holiday bonuses this year. Yes, you’re likely to receive a bonus, but it’s far from a safe assumption. The possibility should never preclude you from continuing your job search.
Accounting firms and companies actually do hire during the holidays.
For various reasons—including workloads, ramping up for a new year, making personnel changes, etc.—the fourth quarter (even late in the fourth quarter) is often one of our busiest times for temp and full-time placement of accounting and finance professionals. That means that companies are hiring, whether it’s through a staffing agency like us, or on their own. As surprising as that may be, it’s a common practice, so make sure you’ll be found when recruiters and hiring managers are anxious to fill positions.
Your competition may claim your job.
The economy continues to recover. Combine that with the fact that companies are more confidently investing in their workforces, and we have the ingredients for a competitive job market. Few individuals are seeking employment just because of unemployment; the vast majority of them are looking to advance their careers and earn more money. The longer you procrastinate—especially during the holidays—the more likely that a competing job candidate lands your dream job.
You typically don’t find a new job overnight.
Even though the economy is close to firing on all cylinders again and companies are more inclined to spend, job searches can still drag out, depending on the job, the unemployment rate in your area, your experience, your skills, and other factors. Generally, in the current candidate-driven labor market, from the time they post a job ad, it takes companies about a month to fill a mid-level professional position. On the flip side, to find a job that is not necessarily ideal, but one that meets most of your criteria (you have a little extra leverage and can be more selective in this market), you’ll need 2-3 months—and even that timeframe can vary. The point is, finding the right job can take time. Why take time off from proactively looking while your competition is landing interviews?
One final thought: In our survey, 85 percent of employers stated that they had already begun their hiring search by the time the holidays began. What more do you need to hear?
On a related note, learn how companies plan to reward their employees this holiday season via our infographic.