It is yet again the time of year where everything seems to slow right down or even stop entirely. The temptation is to stop any activity and wait for next year to arrive.
But before you resign yourself to a week of inactivity, consider this: Daley Thompson dominated the world of decathlon between 1978 and 1987, setting four world and 10 U.K. and Commonwealth records.
He combined his natural talent with a never-say-die attitude, claiming Olympic, World, European, and Commonwealth titles along the way.
His first Olympic gold came in 1980, finishing more than 100 points clear of his competitors. More success followed four years later in Los Angeles, overcoming close rival Jurgen Hingsen. The pair consistently traded world records, but Thompson always had the upper hand in the major events, remaining undefeated in all competitions for nine years between 1979 and 1987.
I remember seeing a TV interview with Daly Thompson during his reign, where he was asked by the interviewer how he managed to always stay ahead of his great rival. His response really had an impact on me and has always stuck in my mind. He said, “It’s quite easy really. I train harder than he does. I know, for example, that he will not be training on Christmas day, so I make sure I do. One day’s extra training might just be the difference between coming first and second.”
In other words, he took advantage of his rival’s inactivity in pursuit of success. That is what you can do now if you are searching for new candidates or indeed, new clients.
Don’t write off the next week just because you assume that no one will be around. Hiring managers might still be there, and guess what? If they are there, they will have more time on their hands than normal because they are unlikely to be in any meetings.
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Therefore, you have a better chance of speaking with them directly, especially as their secretaries are also probably away. They might even be impressed that you are calling; don’t forget, first impressions are everything and you only get one chance to make it.
Perhaps you could also suggest a meeting at a local coffee shop. They might be pleased for the activity, and by the time everyone else returns to work in the new year, you could already be working on new assignments.
If you’re sourcing candidates and continually have problems with the receptionist or other people who block your way, call during the holiday period. Someone will be there but it won’t be the usual people. The person you speak to will be keener to help rather than hinder; besides they probably have nothing better to do. You can even afford to push them harder for more names while you have them on the phone because of this. Everyone is happy to talk during the festive season, so take advantage of it.
So now is the time to pick up the phone and make those calls. You never know who you’re going to find just waiting to speak to you or what you might achieve.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.