How To Save Your Year In December

If you’re reading this hoping to snatch 2019 from the slavering maw of mediocrity, I need to be clear with you.

You can’t.

Simple as.

In fact there’s as much chance of you rescuing your entire year in a single month as finding an opportunity described as “fantastic” and it actually being so.


The worst month. The slowest month. The month where good processes go to die.

Recruitment, historically and notoriously, slows down in December.

Not everywhere, mind. In the US, our slightly better looking cousins will be working flat out. So you might find it’s not quite the case depending on the geography you work.

Although realistically, you’re not going to pull a job, fill it, and inspire an invoice into being paid before Jan comes, are you?

Let alone more than once, depending on how salvation prone your 2019’s been.

So why the clickbait title?

Because years are salvageable.

Because if you end this one well, and start 2020 right, you won’t need to read an article promising you you’ll be able to rescue it in a criminally shorter than average month.

Because the work you do over the next few weeks is going to get you off to an absolute barnstormer in 2020. And that’s – whichever way you cut it – what it’s all about.

december 1

December has, within its boundaries, compulsory time off for a large portion of its inhabitants.

So even if you’re working your butt off, fewer of your network are. And what’s a recruiter without their network? Beans, I say.

And you’re up against the fact that even when you are at work, you’ve got one eye on the frivolities. Which isn’t something you should be shy about.

You’ve worked hard this year. Taking time out to mentally replenish is just as important as turning up in the first place.

So what can you do now, to impact your January?

Particularly so you’re aren’t looking at another salvage job come month 12.


Boil down your top clients to attack work with.

You probably haven’t got time to fill a role for them. But you have got time to buy them a mulled wine. And guess what? They’re far more likely to actually go for it.

This’ll set you up to schedule a coffee in Dry January. Then lunch in Feb. And terms signed in March.

Not bad off a few slugs of spicy grape soup during December. Although you actually have to drink the stuff, and you’ve gone wrong somewhere if that tickles your taste buds.

december 2


Get your ear to the ground with people you haven’t met yet.

Sure you love your clients. We all do. But what about your next client? Or your next group of legendary candidates, armed with enough experience to win your next bit of big business?

No one’s in the office anyway. Why should you be?

If you’ve not had time in Q1, Q2, Q3 to get out and about at meetups, now’s the time. And you never know what you’ll get up to. Or who you’ll meet.

It’s infinitely more interesting than listening to voicemail after voicemail anyway, I can assure you.

Setting goals

Me old mate Tim Ferriss (I don’t know the man, not even remotely) sets goals based on his fears, instead of writing down “2 deals for 10K” on a piece of paper and showing it to his boss.

This article goes into more depth but the idea’s simple. Work through these three steps:

1. Define the fear. What’s the worst case scenario if  you don’t achieve what you set out to?

2. Prevent it. What specific steps can you take to reduce the likelihood of that fear becoming a reality?

3. Repair the damage. What can you do to fix the issue if you fail? How do you get back to where you were? Or who can you ask for help?

It’s contingency planning 101. And the idea’s to be as detailed and specific as possible.

List every terrible outcome. And every conceivable step you’d take to overcome it.

Because by detailing what catastrophe looks like for your business, you should be in the best place to stop it from happening. Handy, in advance, given that if the worst does happen, you’ve got a step-by-step plan for getting back on top.

december 3

Personal Branding

Make an effort to push it. If only because we’ve been banging this drum for long enough.

And a lot of our content involves either spelling out the distinction between the different types of branding, or offering tech hacks to make it less of a hassle.

Get into the spirit of things.

Start doing things that don’t have a commercial objective. Offering CV or cover letter advice. Consulting on salaries in the market. Swapping gossip.

You don’t normally have the time to do it. So make the most.

It doesn’t have to all be about crafting witty updates and scheduling them in advance on cloud based subscription software.

Send your best customers christmas cards and/or a note wishing them a new year.

I doubt your competitors will. And if they do, make yours better.


On the subject of things you don’t normally have time to do…

Growing a social network online is the next best thing to growing it in person.

And one of the best, least time consuming activities to do so is by way of manufacturing a content engine.

And December’s the best time to do it.

You aren’t as busy managing processes. Ergo, neither are your clients.

I’d imagine most of your market’s got a bit more time on their hands to digest a sharp bit of sector specific content. And even if you don’t want to get it out now, smart working would suggest you do most of the typing now and then publish it gradually throughout the year.

Stop working

For some, regardless of the year you’ve had, time off is fleeting.

Even if your year looks like the dog’s had it, a bit of relaxation and rejuvenation will go a long way to ensuring you start next year with 2020 vision (sorry).

Combine your time off with the things above, and you won’t be far short of the top of the sales board. But take the time to reflect too. And not just staring into a bathroom mirror at the end of year bash.

After the Q4 wrap up, give yourself a minute and ask yourself exactly the same questions everyone else just did. Albeit on your business specifically.

What worked? What didn’t? And what can I do better?

If it helps to get you motivated, write it all down. But don’t just bleat it at a colleague or a love one. Take the time you need to recharge. Have a long look at what you’ve done. And then actively take steps to kick on, next year.


“Yeah boss, building for Jan…”

If your year does need saving, your activity needs to be high. Arguably higher than it’s been all year.

Because what’ll really save you is showing the powers that be that even though you haven’t exactly set new records on the billing table, you’re putting the work in while everyone else is switching off.

You’ll get to January with enough to run at that you’ll do at least one placement accidentally. The idea’s to build a pipeline that should really see you do twice your target in month one.

Start the next year absolutely flying and ideally this year’s doubts will be silenced. Then if you can keep that output stewing throughout 2020, you should end this next year better than you have the current one.

Just make sure you’re in the right place for it. We’re about a week away from the first NEW YEAR NEW JOB? posts making themselves known, like the first smatterings of a Michael Buble album on the Sonos.

If you want to get ahead of them, consider working somewhere awesome.

Click here to browse every single open recruitment job on Hunted. And have a jolly non-denominational end of year winter festival, whatever you do.