“How should I approach my job search with the holidays approaching?”


Author: Larry Medina (Head of Career Services, Alumni & Corporate Relations) at ESSEC Asia-Pacific


The most successful job seekers are very in tune with the ebb and flow of the job market. In Singapore and many other countries, the job market gets quiet as the end of the year holidays approach. 

Yes, there is some hiring, but the volume decreases as key decision-makers take leave, staff look forward to vacations and staycations, and most people look to a new beginning in the coming year. 

Some staff looking to leave their job will hold out for the bonus payment, although this will be a challenging year for bonuses in most industries.

A career is not a sprint; it’s a marathon

When things slow down, it is good to research your target companies and roles, including networking. In addition to doing research, I recommend looking for inspiration and get some well-deserved rest as well. Both of these recommendations acknowledge that a job search and career management is a marathon and not a sprint.

Inspiration between the lines

Inspiration can come in many forms. I find biographies a constant source of inspiration. If you are not sure where to start, look for a biography about a person that you admire or in the industry that intrigues you. In the realm of business, I recommend Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, Robert Kuok: A Memoir, or In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon and William Patrick, just to name a few. Finding inspiration will help energize you for the long haul.

You deserve a break

Besides finding inspiration from books, movies, or elsewhere, I recommend that you take time during the holidays to rest. Job and internship searches can be tiring especially when combined with other commitments like classes, exams, and projects. By allowing your mind to rest, it will also be easier to reflect on where you are, what is going well, and what adjustments are required for the next phase of your search. Give yourself a break!


To recap, as we approach the end of the year holidays, remember that the job market slows down. It provides you an opportunity to find inspiration. More importantly, it offers the chance to rest, recharge, and reflect.

You can use this much-need downtime to prepare yourself for the next lap in a long race. As I believe I should follow my own advice, I will be pausing my weekly tips until early January. 

Happy Holidays to you and your family. Here’s looking forward to 2021!

Larry Medina is the Head of Career Services, Alumni & Corporate Relations at ESSEC Asia-Pacific Business School. For more career tips, follow #careertipswithlarry.  Read previous tips from this series.

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