In a discussion earlier this month with a fellow association exec, we both mentioned that we were thrilled that summer was finally here but that it meant that a job search was going to be more difficult. Having experienced a transition 7 years ago I remembered that once June arrived that it became more difficult to find just the right position to be excited about.
Though I have no research to back me up on my contention, but just assessing the various job sites it is becoming quite obvious that vacancies are harder to find and that many decisions are being postponed until after Labor Day.
I know it is not just me who have noticed that e-mails and phone call replies are more difficult to get on Fridays and Mondays during the summer. You can’t blame people for leaving early and returning late from a long weekend. Even with more work and smaller staffs, it is difficult to find people willing to talk on a Friday or Monday during the summer months.
Just because activities have slowed down does not take away the fact that you would still like to find new employment – even if it means after the summer hiatus. There are a few activities that you can perform to keep “your brand” fresh even during the scalding hot months of summer:
1) Reposition yourself with your social media outlets. Get more active tweeting and retweeting. Make your name a household favorite and expand your followers on Twitter, connections on LinkedIn and friends on Facebook. You don’t need to recreate the wheel but make sure you are getting your name out there with postings and articles that describe your interests.
2) Now that the weather is accommodating more travel – get out there and connect with your network. Make lunch appointments and get involved in groups where you can pass out your card and let people know that you are still available. People might have forgotten about you – make sure they know you are still actively interested. Obviously with vacations you will need to make appointments and not just drop in on people. Expand your network and keep marketing yourself.
3) Widen your horizons and start investigating job sites beyond those that you have become comfortable with up to this point. LinkedIn, CEO Update, ASAE Career HQ, Simply Hired and Ladders are a good start but don’t be limited to just one or two favorites. Remember that you need a few possibilities in the hopper just in case that one job you are really desiring and are meant to have just doesn’t come to pass.
4) Though it may be a factor in your personal budget, make sure you attend both your local allied society annual meeting or activities and the ASAE Annual Meeting this summer. Besides the fact that you will find a new energy from being near your association friends, it gives you another opportunity to be seen and get your name out there. Attending these meetings also provide you the forum for a new knowledge base. You may be an expert in your field but it never hurts to sit through a few sessions to hear how others are dealing with the new environment we are all living through these days. By the way, those expenses are tax deductible – just keep all your records on file for next April.
5) Have you ever considered writing an article for a professional or trade periodical or maybe an op-ed for the local paper? Don’t venture into anything too controversial since you want to be marketable to all types of employers, but talk about your current state of affairs or how you see the industry or trade changing. Once that article is printed you can recirculate it digitally many times over for additional exposure. Attach it to your job inquiries to provide evidence of your writing prowess.
Summer can be a great diversion from the job search routine with outdoor activities, golf, gardening and travel to name just a few. Make sure that you don’t forget your ultimate goal of employment because the last thing you want right now is find yourself this fall in the same predicament without the advantage of the good weather. Remember, it is a full time job to find a job – this is not the time for you to take a vacation from your job search.
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 90 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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