Tips for Keeping Up With Your Career Search in the Summer
Summer is a great time for vacation and to get some R&R. I highly recommend doing that and maintaining some life balance in your life! But some people take months off in their career search.
As we’ve learned from the tough economy, we need to pay attention to our assets, on a regular basis. We can’t fall asleep at the switch. Our jobs, not our homes or investments, have become our best asset because of the tough economy. This means that more than ever, you must be pro-active – not reactive – about your career, have clearly defined career goals, and actively manage your career just like you would an investment. You can’t afford to just take the summer off. Take some of your down time this summer to plan your next career move- whether it’s changing jobs or the next steps you need to land your dream job. Instead of just sitting by the pool sipping margaritas, take some time to think about whether your career search is headed in the right direction. People tend to slow down in the summer- don’t fall into this trap. Keep your job search alive.
- Don’t be lazy. Starting each day with a job hunt schedule is the best way to get focused and stay productive.You want to make a list of things you want to accomplish each day, whether it involves networking, adding to your portfolio, or submitting applications. Many of us would love to take summers off and enjoy the beautiful weather all day long, like we could do in our school days. But, unless you are a teacher, you most likely will need to work summers. Your job search should reflect your work schedule. Sticking to a schedule will make you feel more energized and then you can have time in the evenings to relax and not be stressed out about finding a job come fall.
- Summer is the time to network! The good weather leads itself to all sorts of networking activities. This is a great time to build up your professional network. Some networking event examples in the summer include: baseball games, neighborhood block parties, church picnics, weddings, pool parties, and barbeques.
- Employers are hiring. I hear this all the time from clients, “employers aren’t hiring over the summer or the holidays.” This is a myth! Some industries slow down in the summer, however that’s when they are more likely to start hiring, they have more time. I know someone who got a contract job the day after Christmas last year. You just never know when your dream job will become available. It is important to stay on top of your search regardless of the time of year.
- Stay professional. I was speaking with a hiring manager at a big company. He was telling me about a candidate who was highly qualified for a job and would have definitely gotten an interview, until he saw the candidate had mentioned that he wouldn’t be able to interview until the end of the summer (after Labor Day) as he was taking a summer break. That was over a month from when the hiring manager was trying to begin interviews. Although he was qualified, his name went into the “no” pile. The hiring manager was completely unimpressed. He told me, “I don’t know why candidates think that it’s okay to just put your job search on hold because the weather is nice out. I thought it was unprofessional to mention that. I’m looking for professional workers.”