With all the extra hustle and bustle associated with the holiday season, it can be particularly tough to set aside time to focus on your job search.  However, the holidays can actually be a great time to re-energize your job search for several reasons.  First of all, you’ll have much more contact with your network of friends and colleagues.  Secondly, companies often kick-start hiring right after the new year.

Networking opportunities

When you’re facing uncertainty about your future, often the last thing you want to do is dress up and celebrate with other people.  However, every chance you have to interact with others offers a potential networking opportunity!  So when your significant other tries to drag you to their office Christmas party, put on your holiday best, slide some business cards into your wallet, and go see who you can meet!

The time-honored tradition of sending holiday cards also offers you an excellent opening to check in with your network.  Include a short letter or note with your card that lets your friends know that you are continuing to look for a job in your targeted field.  Don’t feel self-conscious about doing this!  Not only do your friends and family genuinely care about how you’re doing, but chances are that your employment status has slipped their minds in the midst of their own holiday craziness.  If you get your holiday cards out early, before your round of parties, your contacts may very well ask you to tell them more about your job search.

Position yourself for the new year

Although many retail companies hire seasonal workers, the corporate world often drags on hiring throughout December while many employees are out of the office for extended periods.  The good news is that when companies return to work in January—often armed with new annual budgets—their hiring season picks up in full force.  After all your social activity during the holidays, your contacts will be eager to recommend you for openings in their companies.

In your downtime between opening presents and stuffing yourself silly, take a couple of hours to update your resume and LinkedIn profile.  You may not get as many calls for interviews during the holiday season, but optimizing contact with others and getting your job search materials in top shape is still a productive use of your time.  Not only will doing these things allow you to hit the ground running in January, but productivity will allow you to relax and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones as well!