January is one of the biggest months for starting a new job. That’s why I advise career coaching clients to actively work their job searches through December including the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Recruiters will be working critical jobs and seeking to fill them as fast as possible. Top areas for hiring activity include:

  1. Sales – Many organizations have important sales meetings in January to launch the year. If you are in sales, try to land a new job before January 15th.
  2. Human Resources – Since January is such big hiring month, few organizations want to be understaffed in the function that has to drive hiring, pre boarding and onboarding.
  3. Marketing – Social media marketers never really get a “slow period” and the demand on marketing is non stop, all year long.
  4. Fitness – January is the biggest month for fitness activity and you might as well be there at your new gig.
  5. Coaching – People make New Year’s Resolutions and hire all different types of coaches to help them achieve their goals.

If you are currently between full time jobs, don’t wait for the holidays to end. Contact all of the reputatable contingent workforce agencies in your field to get well paying W2 contract assignments. It’s not temping anymore. It’s the gig economy. The contingent workforce, which is a significant opportunity for job seekers who haven’t found the right permanent role, but would be very happy in a challenging 3 month assignment.

Contingent assignments happen for many reasons. You could be covering a Leave of Absence (LOA). A job may be vacant due to a resignation and it’s difficult to fill, but cannot be open. Sometimes companies have not received budget approval yet for the next fiscal year so bring in a contract resource to begin while waiting for formal approval. And there are always huge projects that just demand additional staff.

Most importantly, take time over the holidays to update your resume and all job search related websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor and any other job sites you use. Be honest with yourself. When is the last time you updated your resume and profiles? If it’s more than 3 months ago, time to add critical content.

And that includes your images uploaded to your job search sites. Update your LinkedIn photo. Just do it. This isn’t last year. Start the year with a strong visual image that is professional, fun and compelling.  You can do this for an hour a day for the week between Christmas and New Years Day while you simultaneously binge watch season 2 of the Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.

If you don’t like your photo, then do what all of the rest of us do. Join the gym and go to the hair stylist.  Do something. Do lots of somethings. Don’t let 2019 be a repeat of 2018. You survived 2018 with the rest of us, scared to death sometimes and hopeful at other times that this too will pass. While we wait for this to pass, focus on what you can control. That’s your career planning and continuous person skills upgrade.

Remember this. This isn’t your parent’s workplace and job searches aren’t what they used to be. You have to have a brand now that you continuously market while you are happily employed.