Ah, summer. Beaches, barbecues, and ... .applying for new jobs? While your dreams for summer may not include resume writing and prepping for interviews, the fact is that you can't always control when the time may be right to start looking for a new job. However, the words "summer vacation" and "job hunt" don't have to be mutually exclusive. Let's take a closer look at how to manage job search stress while enjoying the joys of summer.
Focus on the Positives
Looking for a job in the summer seems a whole lot less stressful when there's the heightened chance of a great job on the other side of it. Whether you're a new grad entering the market or a seasoned worker in search of exciting new employment, summer is actually a great opportunity to find a job. Why? Because with Q1 and Q2 the "busy season" for job seekers, not nearly as many people are searching in Q3 and Q4. Vacancies are vacancies, however, and can arise at any time.
So what does this mean for you? Simple: a potential inside edge on any job that arises during this slow time of year. In other words, while your competition is playing beach volleyball, you can be accepting the offer of your dreams.
But keep in mind that this window of opportunity closes when the schools open their doors. Come September, your fellow job seekers will reemerge. If you have even the smallest inkling that a job switch may be in order, start early to gain the biggest advantage while also enjoying some breathing room.
Set a Schedule
The call of summer is loud, and honestly let's face it: would you rather spend the afternoon at the pool or in front of your computer screen?
Unfortunately, procrastination is one of the biggest pitfalls of job hunting in the summer, but can be kept at bay through one simple act: creating and sticking with a schedule. Budget a certain amount of time every day to get through key job-hunting activities, such as scouring the job boards for new listings or crafting the perfect cover letter for a great new lead.
If possible, schedule these tasks for early in the day. That way, you can get your screen time out of the way and still have plenty of time for cannonballs with the kiddos later in the day without any nagging thoughts about what you should be doing getting in the way.
But Be Prepared to Wait
While job hunting during the summer can be beneficial to job hunters, it can also be frustrating. Knowing what to expect can help you manage your expectations and scale down your stress.
With many employees reserving their vacation time for the summer months, the process can move more slowly than usual. Patience and persistence are the key to success. Don't panic if you don't hear back right away. Instead, follow up within a week or two after sending your resume. This can help keep your name toward the top of the pile if vacations have temporarily tabled the search.
On the sunny side, is the fact that summer can also have the opposite effect. When schedules are tight because of vacations and other vacancies, companies may accelerate the interview process when all necessary parties are available to avoid costly slow-downs in the future.
Consider New Opportunities
If your job search has stalled or you're not certain you're ready to commit to a particular job or industry, summer's abundance of contract-to-hire positions opens new doors. Many organizations have extended openings during the summer due to sabbaticals and vacations. If you excel in a contract position and the timing is right, it may lead to a permanent position. Worst case scenario? You don't end up with a full-time job, but you do beef up your resume while picking up a new reference or two.
Soak It In
Winter's doldrums can leave you feeling sluggish and slow, but summertime can be positively energizing. While job hunting may not top the list of things you'd like to be doing this summer, why not leverage the vivacity of the season to enhance your job search? Instead of looking at the process as a dreaded chore, reframe it as an exciting opportunity. After all, wouldn't it be amazing to have a terrific new job by the time the leaves start to fall?
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