One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA. Oh, sure... we're not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is...
Many of you might be highly concerned with the turbulent economic situation, especially if you're in the midst of a job hunt. Here are some tips on how lifting your morale during the holiday season can help you land your next role.
Examine your rolodex and make a list of the people you feel can make the most impact in your job search. This group should include HR professionals, C-level execs, board members and anyone you label as a super connector. Don't worry if you've lost touch with some of these people. The entire point of this exercise is to reengage with important players who could be less busy at this time of the year. Sending a holiday card or e-mail provides a warm way to reconnect. When folks respond, invite them to grab lunch or a cup of cheer.
Plan on attending as many appropriate holiday parties as you can handle. Check with your industry's trade associations to learn about their mixers. If your friend works in a company or sector that interests you, accompany him to his office outing. During these functions, try to hang out with the social butterflies who seem to know everyone. They might introduce you to the head honcho who is just standing in the corner eating crab cakes. Being extra social can be key to getting a lot more leads. You can host your own simple event and invite all the new friends you have made.
Even if finding a new job is the highest item on your holiday wish list, don't act like it. As you meet and spend time with people who can assist your search, focus on them and their potential needs more than you and yours. Learn what keeps one of these persons up at night professionally or personally and try to help if possible. Perhaps you can offer an introduction to a potential client or an internship lead for her child in college. Providing value that benefits someone's income, health or family will greatly increase her desire to do the same for you.
Despite the possible year-end slowness you might be experiencing, keep in mind that many organizations and verticals are still thriving. Those businesses do not plan on losing their momentum in the coming year; therefore, stay close to them now and into January.
Being confident, connected and giving will help you receive. Have a wonderful holiday and happy hunting!