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Career Coach

December Job Hunting for Nurse Practitioners

Published December 2, 2009 3:48 PM by Renee Dahring
People often ask me about job hunting during the last month of the year. They wonder if December is a good time to look for work or if they are better off to wait until January.

Generally speaking the year end can be a hard time to look for work. Even in the best of years there is an overall job slowdown, with both less jobs and less applicants, during the last couple months of the year. This time of year, everyone is busy and focused on getting through the holidays. It's also hard to contemplate changing jobs, or for that matter, making ANY big decision during the month of December.

On the employer side, old budgets have been drained, and the new budget for the coming year may still be a mystery.

I wouldn't let any of that discourage you.

If you are considering a move, now may be the perfect time for you to get started. For one thing, fewer applicants means there is less competition. Start now, and you can get a head start on all those NPs who are planning to find a new job "after the first of the year," and believe me, there is always a big jump in applicants after New Years.

December may be the month where folks hunker down, but January is the month for new starts. As I write, there are NPs are making a New Year's resolution for a new job, and they will be out in droves doing serious job hunting come January. And speaking of new starts, many clinics budgets ARE done and hiring managers are finding out this month they DO have approval to hire that additional NP for next year. You can beat the after-Christmas rush by applying now.

If you don't have the energy for an all-out job search this month, at least continue your networking. The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with old contacts and maintain your current relationships. You have the perfect excuse for sending off an e-mail or a quick card to a colleague. Going online is great, but my research has shown that networking and word of mouth is still the main path to finding a new position.

Tuning up your resume may seem like the last thing you want to add to your holiday to-do-list, but it's a great holiday gift to give to yourself.

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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