John Hadley's Career Accelerator Blog
Seek Answers to Your Career / Career Search Challenges

November 2009
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Don’t Slow Your Search During The Holidays!
Filed under: General, Networking
Posted by: John Hadley @ 4:56 pm

Many job seekers make the mistake of thinking that the holiday season is a terrible time to be looking.  They assume that no one is going to hire during this season, and that they are wasting their time.  As a result, they put their search on hold from Thanksgiving until New Year’s.

That’s great news for those candidates who go ahead anyway…reduced competition!

This is actually one of the best times for networking.  While it may be a bit more difficult to get meetings with people because of vacation schedules, those that you do get are likely to be more productive than usual.  Networking contacts will tend to be in more of a holiday spirit, more relaxed and more open to helping you out.

While some hiring managers might put hiring decisions on hold until the new year, others may actually be anxious to fill that key position while they still can count it against 2009’s personnel budget!  If that head count I’ve been permitted to fill might evaporate in 2010, I guarantee you I am going to work hard to make an offer before the 31st!

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean that I have less of a need to fill my critical openings.  In fact, I may have more incentive to fill it so that I’m not stuck doing all of the work myself when I could instead be enjoying the holidays with my own family.

And even if you are networking in to a situation where any hiring decision is going to be deferred until after year end, don’t you think it will help your case to be first in line because of your persistence now, rather than to wait to try to make your presence known when all the other candidates start looking again in January?

It’s OK to take some vacation time from your search, and to enjoy the holidays yourself.  Just be sure you are doing it because you want to enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation, and not through the misguided belief that this is a bad time to be looking!

And for more on how to make the most of those networking efforts, see these articles:



At a meeting of a local networking group, someone stated that while this may be a good time of the year for networking, no one makes offers.

As a matter of fact, one of my clients received the job offer she wanted this week, for a position she was only made aware of around Thanksgiving.

Another client was approached this week by his former boss about a job, and was basically told that if he wants it, it’s his.

So don’t let the holiday season pass you by!  Get out there and make the most of it…

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Looking While Contracting
Filed under: General
Posted by: John Hadley @ 3:48 pm

A question I received

“I’ve got a pretty good job right now. As a Contractor working for a Recruiting company, I am “rented” to a new startup company. The work scope is pleasing; I like, and do well at what they want. Work is solid for at least another six months I believe.

Question: How much time and effort to I use towards another position? It would be difficult to find a better “Fit”; the pay is pretty good too.  I was unemployed for over a year prior to this engagement. That, I pray, never happens again. I want to have immediate options if this assignment goes south.”

My answer

You need to create a plan to conduct a search, while juggling the current job, so that you don’t find yourself starting over again in 6 months.

Possibilities that strike me:

  1. Explore the likelihood of turning the contract work into a permanent role at the startup
  2. Explore the likelihood of another immediate contract assignment through the recruiting company when this contract ends.
  3. Explore the likelihood of a permanent job at the recruiting company.
  4. Seek a new job at a new company.

The 1st option will be dependent on:

The 2nd option will depend on satisfying the client in such a way that the recruiting company sees you as offering great value to their ongoing clients.  It requires you to put energy into creating the visibility within the recruiting company that leads them to remember you’re out there and not want to lose you from their stable.

The 3rd option depends on networking within the recruiting company to create / unearth an opportunity there.

The 4th option requires that you:

What do other readers think?  Post comments with your own thoughts on this.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to my RSS feed at:

And you will find many useful articles on my website at:

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Be On The Ball In Your Search
Filed under: General, Networking
Posted by: John Hadley @ 4:29 pm

What would you do with this situation?

I spoke at a Career Campaign event in NYC last year.  A week or 2 afterwards I had a long conversation with one of the attendees.  He complained about how difficult it was to find interviews, and I asked what he had been doing to move his search forward.

“Going to events like this one.”

I then pointed out that he had heard me talk for 45 minutes on exactly what made a killer resume, yet the resume he had just sent me had clearly not been revised to take any of my points into account.

“I can’t remember everything you said.”

It turned out he had come to a 4 hour career event, with 6 guest speakers sharing a great deal of expertise, and hadn’t even taken any notes!  When I pointed that out, he agreed that it would be a good idea if he started bringing a pad and pen to future meetings.

Now only a small percentage of candidates are as clueless as this person, but a very high percentage have never learned how to market themselves all that well. 

A career search is a sales and marketing campaign, and your job as a candidate is to be the EVP of Sales and Marketing for You, Inc.  That is a mindset that many candidates have difficulty mastering, or sometimes even accepting.

So don’t worry so much about the competition, just focus on doing everything you can to market YOURSELF as effectively as you can.


Don’t forget that you can subscribe to my RSS feed at:

And you will find many useful articles on my website at:

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Uncovering Company Culture
Filed under: General, Networking, Interview, Career
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:34 pm

This is the question that was posed:

“The more you know about a company’s culture, the easier it can be to tell what what you can offer to them if there is a match. I wanted to know how you would go about finding which company is the right fit in an industry:

My response

Face to face networking doesn’t require attending expensive events. It would be a good idea to get involved with a professional association or other networking group focused on your industry / job target, but that is only a piece of networking. True networking is 1-on-1 meetings with people outside of events, where you have their undivided attention for 30 minutes or more to equip them to understand your target, and why you would make an outstanding contribution there.

Attending selected events where you will meet the right sorts of people is a great way to make initial connections to some of the right people, so that you can then follow up and schedule those 1-on-1 meetings. You can also make connections through:

You can reach out through LinkedIn and other social / business media to find people of interest, and try reaching out to them to get a chance to chat and build them into your network. You can write directly to senior people at companies of interest expressing what you might bring to the table for their operations and asking to meet with them. You can read the trade press, and search for press releases and other stories on the industry and target companies.

And, of course, you can go on interviews and ask probing questions about the way the company operates to establish what sort of culture they have.

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