Iowans who are job-hunting may abandon their search during this final month of the year, but one expert says this could be the ideal time to land a new position.
Mike Gremmer of Des Moines, a regional vice president for the staffing service Robert Half, says many other people may hold off during the holidays, but that could put you in the driver’s seat. “Many employers at this point are seeing their projects start to slow down so you get a little bit more of a captive audience,” Gremmer says. “On top of that, a lot of job seekers, because they think it’s a slower time, you might have a competitive advantage.”
The holidays also present an excellent opportunity to reconnect with employers with whom you’ve interviewed in the past. “It’s a great time to mail them a card or for a phone call,” Gremmer says. “Network, definitely. Everyone has some type of year-end party that they attend, a holiday party. It’s a great time to network. You never know who you’re going to run into.”
If you have some down time, he also suggests volunteering at the local charity of your choice, because again, you may bump into a prospective employer you otherwise would never have seen. Several industries in Iowa are hiring now, he says, especially in areas like retail, health care and financial services. “Open enrollment for the health arena is very big,” Gremmer says. “Package delivering services, tax season is definitely up. We’re seeing a lot of year-end projects needing staff accountants, bookkeeping.”
If you’re among Iowa’s ranks of the unemployed during this holiday season, he encourages you to keep your spirits up and keep hunting. “There are jobs out there,” Gremmer says. “Keep your skills current by taking temporary work. Work with a specialized recruiter if you’re looking for a job in your particular field, but don’t be afraid to go outside your particular field either. If you’ve always been in one particular industry, many of those skills can be transferable.”
The newest figures out show Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped in October to 4.6-percent, down from 4.7-percent in September.