There are plenty of things in life that we reserve for summers—going to the beach, swimming, and backyard BBQs are just a few. But what about job searching? If you’re in-between jobs or are thinking about a career change, you may be wondering when is the best time of year to plan your job hunt. Is now the time to strike, or is it better to wait until the humidity passes before ramping up your search?
The truth is, if you’re out of work and need a paycheck, you might not have the option to delay your job search until the fall season returns. However, you may be currently employed or in no big rush to make your next career move, and are questioning whether or not to take the summer off from job hunting or get started immediately.
Business is ongoing—even during a vacation season
Traditional conventional wisdom suggests that the summer can be a challenging time to try and find a new job—many people assume that the pace of business slows during the sweltering months of June through August, and that employees (including key hiring personnel) are more focused on vacations and weekend plans than staffing concerns. Businesses also might assume that the available talent pool during the summer months may be a little thinner, and choose to defer filling new and vacant positions until the season changes. What’s the net result? A job market with fewer openings and opportunities on average than cooler months. But does that necessarily mean that starting a job search during the summer is a bad idea?
The truth is, although there’s much to be said about conventional wisdom, it isn’t always right. Like most things in the professional world, trends change over time. Many aggressive and innovative businesses not only fail to slow down operations in the summer, they actually ramp them up—especially if there’s a seasonal element to their industry. Also, there’s no denying an immediate need, and if an open position absolutely needs to be filled ASAP, you can count on businesses conducting a hard-target search for the right person—even during the hot summer months. Also, seasonal and part-time employment (as well as contract work) are more resilient to seasonal shifts, so if you’re on the lookout for these types of opportunities then there’s no reason not to start searching in the summertime. In fact, many employers ramp up short-term hiring during the summer months to offset full-time staff summer vacations, so keep an eye out for growth in these opportunities.
There’s more opportunity to shine
Here’s another good reason to consider summertime job searching—remember earlier when we mentioned that the available talent pool tends to shrink during the summer months? This temporary decrease in job seekers may mean that there’s less competition for the positions you’d be applying for. Furthermore, fewer active people searching for jobs may mean that you’ll get more attention from recruiters and employment agencies, should you consider using their services. Who knew that conducting a job search in the summer may actually be a wise and strategic move?
So, what’s the bottom line when it comes to job searching in the summer? The reality is that it really depends on your situation—your target industry, position, experience level, city, and luck all factor into how effective a potential job hunt will be during the months of June through August. But even if there are fewer opportunities available in the summer, that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities, and those who stay serious, focused, and committed during the summer months are most likely to be successful. Will you be among them?
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