‘Tis the (Slow) Season

Unless you’re looking for a quant job — or any finance job, for that matter — through a school-sponsored recruitment program, you should know that the month of December is a very slow time for job hunters. This is especially true if you’re already working and looking for a new position.
 
There are three major reasons why now is a slow time for finding a job:
 
1. With Christmas and New Year approaching, people are busy with holiday shopping and what not, so nobody really wants to read resumes or interview candidates (unless an urgent hiring need is present);
 
2. Many firms have a hiring freeze towards the end of the year, as they’re gearing up their budgeting process for the new year;
 
3. If you already have a job, potential employers may be reluctant to offer you a "buyout" (to offset your loss of year-end bonus when you jump ship) — this seems to be a real problem this year given the turmoils and uncertainties the world of finance is going through thanks to the credit crisis.
 
What’s there to do? First, you should keep in mind that the slow job-hunting season means you may not hear back from potential employers, or even headhunters, for days at a time, so don’t be too alarmed. Also, if people don’t reply to your inquiries right away, don’t get nervous. Second, you should strategize a little: since it’s hard to contact people right now, maybe you should take this time to "re-tool" or "re-arm" yourself, and focus your energy for the battles ahead starting in January. Of course, it’s still a good habit to check for job posting regularly — you just never know if some potential employer suddenly has an immediate opening that may be a fit for you.
 
Good luck and happy holidays!
 
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