Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: holidays

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to the holiday season.

5 Ways to Find a Contract While on Holidays

Last week we discussed 6 reasons it’s a good idea to keep searching for opportunities over the holidays.  Let’s dive deeper into some simple strategies you can use or activities you can do right now that will give you an advantage in the New Year and throughout 2015.

  1. Holiday Events
    How many parties and dinners have you been to so far and how many more will you attend?  How many do you actually want to attend?  All of these are networking events, so take advantage by meeting new people and re-connecting with old friends.  You don’t need to sell yourself or hand out copies of your resume, but it’s amazing where a simple discussion can lead.
  2. Send thank you notes/holiday cards
    Speaking of building relationships, have you sent your holiday cards yet?  If you Person Writing Cardsthink it’s too late, how about thank you notes to people you worked with this year?  This is a simple task you can do while watching TV or traveling and can have great rewards.
  3. Take the time away to do research
    You don’t need to be applying to jobs to get ahead, instead simply focus on planning.  Research your industry, potential clients, and potential agencies.  Find out where the opportunities will be and where you want to be.  Then develop your plan.  Will you work on some relationships? Register for some events? Set-up email notifications on Google and job boards?
  4. Take the time away to inventory your skills and re-work your resume
    The previous point focuses on your external analysis, but don’t forget about the internal one. Take a step back to review your skills.  Should you do any extra training this year?  Then, re-work your resume.  Maybe even create multiple resumes that focus on different roles.
  5. Be flexible when scheduling meetings
    If you manage to get an interview or meeting with a potential client, be able to work around their schedule.  Everybody is a busy right now and will be playing “catch-up” for a couple weeks after the holidays.  The more flexible you are, the more likely you’ll be able to get a meeting, and clients will appreciate you accommodating to their schedule.

If you set a goal to find new contracts during your break but haven’t started yet, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time.  The tips above are simple and shouldn’t take too much time away from your vacation.  Do you have any other quick tips to find new contracts over the holidays? Share your ideas below!

What Your Holiday Shopping Pattern Says About You

It’s that time of year when people are finally finished their shopping are beginning to settle down with family to enjoy some quality time.  Some individuals, however, are still scurrying around malls trying to finish up their last-minute holiday shopping. Where do you fit in?  This infographic from Turbotax analyzes the different types of shoppers during the holidays and what their behaviour says about them.

HolidayShoppingTiming

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

You Job Search Shouldn’t Rest Over the Holidays

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Stop Searching for IT Contract Opportunities Over the Holidays

We’ll all use this holiday season to relax, enjoy time with family, and even be a little lazy.  Given how busy we are the rest of the year, taking a break is necessary and there’s a good chance that what won’t be on your mind is searching for new contract opportunities.  If Business person working during holiday mealyou are able to squeeze it in between meals and movies, though, you just might set yourself up for a rewarding 2015.

There are several reasons a job search over the holidays can increase your odds of winning a contract.  Here are a few:

  1. Organizations are still hiring. Even though many of us will take a break, business will absolutely continue to operate.  Companies are always planning their next moves, projects are always moving forward, and people are always needed (usually sooner rather than later).  If you keep an eye on your favourite job boards, you’ll notice that, although there won’t be many, there will be new opportunities appearing.
  2. Less competition. And while those new opportunities are appearing, fewer people will be seeing them. Remember, most people use the holidays to “turn off”. When you “turn on” for a few minutes each day, you may be the only person applying to a job.
  3. Budgets reset.  While not true for all organizations, many companies reset their budgets on January 1st.  They suddenly have money to spend and will want to get projects going the second 2015 starts.  They’ll use the holiday period to find contractors to work on those 2015 projects.
  4. Recruiters are easier to reach.  As we said in #1, it may be slower but business doesn’t stop during the holiday season.  Many recruiters are still at their desk and may have some extra time.  What a great opportunity to call them, build relationships, and discuss upcoming roles.
  5. People change jobs in the New Year.  2015 will come with a slew of resolutions and some of them will be to make a career change.  Be proactive by getting your name in front of recruiters and hiring managers over the holidays, and you’ll be the first person they call in January.
  6. Show enthusiasm and initiative.  If anything, taking the time to apply for jobs, writing cover letters and checking in with your network shows that you’re serious about your business.  Many clients love that personality trait and will recognize you for it.

We’re not recommending you cancel your vacation, ignore your family and work for the next few weeks straight.  But could you monitor some websites and make a few calls?  It just might pay off!

Holiday Hazards to Avoid This Season

The holidays are a great opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Unfortunately, there are also many accidents throughout the season that could have been avoided.  This infographic from Leavitt Yamane and Soldner explains some of the most common hazards and how you can avoid them.  As you start preparing and heading for parties, please keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe and happy holiday season!Holiday Hazards