“Nobody does anything in December! I’m waiting until next year to take action.”

Nothing happens in December?!

That’s an excuse I’m just not buying!

If you’re considering a career transition or a job change, the best time to start is now! If you’d like to give yourself more time to ease into the transition due to family, work and social responsibilities in December, then I support your decision to defer action. However, if you’re telling yourself that hiring managers and HR staff are taking this month off – you’re mistaken! At some organizations the process might be slower due to vacations, but it won’t stop all together. And, if you decide to sit out the entire month, you’ll be missing some great opportunities.

Here are three reasons why you should begin your job search or keep building momentum throughout the month of December.

1) Calendar year budget and hiring cycles: Many companies budget for new hires starting in January. They’ve got a cyclical process that requires new employees to be hired in December so that they can begin training in January. That means interviews happen throughout the last two months of the year and job offers are presented in December. In fact, my husband, Timothy Vogt, started a position in January for which he was hired last December. And, I know he wasn’t alone in benefiting from a calendar year budgeting and hiring cycle.

2) Starting your search one month later means finishing at least one month later. Change takes time and requires persistent action. If you’re more senior, the search will likely take longer due to a smaller number of positions suited to your needs, more people involved in the decision-making process and more complex compensation negotiations.

Some of the steps necessary to make a career transition are: researching possible positions to find ones that excite you; updating your resume and LinkedIn profile to position yourself for those jobs; tapping into your professional network, friends and family to enlist their help; honing your interview skills; and proactively sharing your professional knowledge in LinkedIn posts, on a podcast, an e-book, or other platform. It helps to have a coach or friend to guide you through the process and who will hold you accountable for moving forward. (Hint: This is one way that I work with clients!) The longer you wait to start moving forward, the more likely you are to be trapped by inertia while continuing to make excuses to remain in a sub-optimal job.

3) December is the perfect time to use vacation time for your job search. Do you have vacation or holiday time available this month? Some organizations have a “use it or lose it” policy, meaning there’s a limit to the number of earned paid time off (PTO) hours that can roll over to the next year. If you’re in that position, don’t let your earned PTO slip away; use it to jump start your search! After deciding which days to take off from work, block time on your personal calendar to take some of the actions listed above. Imagine dedicating at least two full days to your career transition this December. If you do that, I guarantee that you’ll be much better positioned to ring in the new year with meaningful resolutions – or better yet – to set realistic goals for January.

Consider this, if you decide to take a break this December, you’re making it easier for another candidate who’s still moving full steam ahead to get hired this month. And, that same candidate who’s been actively working throughout this month will be better positioned in January, while you’ll just be getting started.

If you decide to take a break this month, you’re making it easier for another candidate to get hired ahead of you!

If you’re one of those professionals who’s actively working towards your career goals – here’s a virtual high five! If you’ve been thinking you’ll wait until January and this article makes you rethink that timeline, then you get a high five also! Either way, drop me a note and let me know how it’s going! I can be reached at Lisa@EverBetterU.com.