If you’re dreaming of pumpkin pie and ginger bread houses, then you’re among many who love the holidays. There’s more to the season that family and friends mingling over egg nog though. This is a busy quarter for many companies and a great quarter to keep up that career search. In this blog we lay out why fourth quarter and the holiday season are a key time for job hunting.

1. Less Competition

While others are enjoying the long days of shopping and sipping peppermint mochas, you can be enjoying less competition in the marketplace. Many job seekers take a break during Q4 to spend time with family, enjoy the holidays and relax only to miss out on great opportunities.

2. Hiring is Happening

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘use it or lose it’? Some employers are looking to spend the rest of their budgets before year’s end, or to hire that final headcount, so they don’t lose out on either of them. Make sure you’re searching during the holiday season, so you can snag that job before their budgets and headcount are reset in the new year.

3. Networking Opportunities a Plenty

Many moons ago I started a hashtag for #NetworkingNovember. This month, and December, are two of the best, and easiest, months to network. They are filled with invitations to events, parties, get togethers and the like. If you’re in the market, say yes to as many as possible and go with a smile on your face. You never know who might be looking for a new employee in the crowd or who might know someone who is.

4. Employers are Planning for Q1

Those employers who are not looking to bust open their budgets in Q4 are likely still interviewing. Why interview if you can’t hire this month? Because you probably are going to hire in the beginning of January and you want your candidate ready to go. That means you’re interviewing now and in December so come January’s open budget you can make an offer and have the new hire ready to start the first week or two of the new year. If you don’t interview during the holidays you can’t start off right in the new year.

5. You Might Still Get Holiday Time Off

What better time to start a new job that during the holidays? Unless you’re working for a retailer, or a company that supports one, you’re likely to start your new job and then get a few days off for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Who doesn’t like a new job that comes with a few days off for the holiday season? Plus, now is a great time to meet colleagues as many companies have gatherings during the holidays.

6. Negotiate a Start Date

While two weeks’ notice is standard, you may be able to negotiate an extra week or so given the holiday schedule. That gives you time to take a week off between jobs to clear your head, spend time with family or get away. This is strongly recommended as you go ‘from’ one job ‘to’ a new one and prepare for something new in your professional life.

7. Deals on a New Wardrobe

It’s nice to show up to work the first day in a new outfit, right? It’s even better when you get that outfit at a highly discounted price and now is the time for that. Land a new job and give yourself the gift of a wardrobe makeover at a deeply discounted rate thanks to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals. You’ll feel and look good too starting that new job.