Seems Like Everybody’s on Vacation…
by Outside-In® Career Transition Coach
Summer’s here, work has slowed, perfect time to look for that new job, right? Not quite.
Your schedule isn’t the only one to have slowed. Inevitably, the world slows, just like it does during those two weeks for Christmas and New Year’s. For the pro-active, aggressive job seeker, this can be especially frustrating because you’re amped up and ready to go…where’s everybody else?
First, just in case you haven’t figure this out yet:
Your e-mail inquiries are going unanswered because the recipient is on the beach.
Your phone calls aren’t getting returned because that decision maker is off with his family.
Every Friday feels like the 4th of July because people are taking three-day weekends.
So instead of feeling de-energized and discouraged, take advantage of this time of year by focusing on more behind-the-scenes job searching and/or career development.
Research companies. Remember, whether you’re just looking to change jobs or are trying to get back in the market, you ultimately want to select your new employer as much as that employer selects you. So scour industry websites, read your daily newspaper and its website and develop your own inventory of insight. Within the BCA portal, we offer sites that lead you to a seemingly unlimited number of employers. Cliche alert: information is power!
Get social. Make summer’s laid back atmosphere work for you by setting up lunches, breakfast and/or coffee meetings to connect with friends and catch up with former co-workers. And while you’re at it, set a goal that at least two such meetings a week will be with a new contact in your industry or the field you are trying to break into. Hesitant? Read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
Look inward. If seemingly no one’s out there to meet, interview you, hire you or make any decisions, work on yourself. Summer can be a good time to stop and think…“am I looking to get out of this job or to really make a good move?” “I know I want a new job, but why? What’s my goal?” Once you have these answers, you may need to develop a new strategy.
Maybe your last job ended and you’re at a new beginning. “What should I do next?” “What’s important to me?” “Who do I want to work with?” “What really are my salary requirements?” The career/job search book What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles lists these and other thought-provoking questions aimed to lead you to your next opportunity.
Freshen your resume. Does the information on your resume put you above your competition or just in the same ballpark? Think about your accomplishments, the impact you have had and the difference you have made on your jobs. That’s our focus with our clients. I suggest that your resume shouldn’t just say “hire me” but “look at the impact I have, how can you NOT hire me?” Consult trusted former colleagues by asking them about your impact, what they remember about you. Even if they don’t give you word-for-word sentences for your resume, they’re bound to spur your thinking.
Take a breath. No matter what the calendar says, job seekers need to pay attention to other aspects of your lives. Are you getting a change of scenery, even for just a day? Are you exercising? How about reading fiction or biographies so you spend part of your day focused on somebody else.
Finally, give your mind a break. Maybe you haven’t heard back from a hiring manager because she’s on vacation. Or her manager is on vacation. Or a prospective colleague who wants to meet you is on vacation. One summer after I had an interview that seemed to go really well, a month went by with no communication. When I finally did get a call back, that was exactly the scenario. “Here I am self-absorbed in my job search and they’re off enjoying themselves,” I thought. Then when I started that job in late August, I was only too happy to hear about their vacations.