Just because you’re looking forward to time off, doesn’t mean that businesses have shut down all hiring activities. While there certainly may be some slowdown in the corporate and government worlds in terms of activity, organizations still need people. If you’re looking for a new job, the fact that it is December should not stop you.

Here are 6 reasons why December can still be a good time to job hunt:

1 Although many employees and companies may have been negatively affected by COVID and competition overall may be stronger than last year, you are likely to have less competition in December than you will once the new year hits. Your resume may better have a better chance of being read in December since there may be fewer people competing for jobs.

2 If things are slower at work and there are less parties to attend this season, you’ll have more time to spend on updating your resume, practicing your interview skills, and networking (safely). With many people home schooling and our residences the center of all activities, it has been hard for many of us to find time to take care of our personal career essentials. If you are taking time off for the holidays, and your kids are off from school, you may have the time to spend on your career.

3 Even though holiday gatherings may be fewer this year, you can still network. Use LinkedIn and remote gatherings to practice your elevator speech; meet new people; learn about different companies, organizations, and careers; and practice your skills. And if you don’t want to talk about your job, be prepared to deflect those questions. Send holiday cards to those you may have lost touch with—or reach out to them on LinkedIn. Update your reference list.

4 You can work on your virtual interview skills. It looks like remote interviewing will be with us for a while. Practice your skills with a colleague or friend. You want to be as comfortable as you can be using the technology, including a camera.

5 If you need interim work, there are plenty of seasonal and temporary positions to explore—even in the current environment, there are opportunities to be had. And it’s possible that the temporary job may turn into a permanent one.

6 Many companies still have budget money—and they federal government is likely to have money too. And getting hired in December means that you’ll be ready to start a new job in January. A new job is a great way to start a new year!

December is a great month, hopefully filled with much needed distraction this year. Use some of your time this month to further your career and set yourself up for a fresh start next year!

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Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.