Ah, Summer. A time for outdoor festivals, ice-cold drinks and plenty of sunscreen.
It is also the season of the dreaded “Summer Slump,” when business slows down as people are off chasing their kids around, and organisations start changing gears for the September/October budgeting cycle.
For people in the market for a career change, this can be a trying time. Interviews dwindle, calls are slow to be returned, and the horizon looks hazier — and more anxiety inducing — than ever before.
Fear not, my dear jobseeker, help is here.
The summer slump, you see, leads to a surge in energy in the market as September rolls in, so I always advise my clients to take advantage of the July to August period in order to prime themselves for the early autumn opportunity swell. Here’s how:
- Stalk your dream companies. Study the stories behind their numbers. Look at their competitors are doing. Pinpoint opportunities and threats to anticipate their next moves. This will help you understand how you might become a key player in their future.
- Network like there’s no tomorrow. And not with your best buddies, either. Go out and clock some face to face time with people you haven’t seen for a while. Better yet, get involved in meetups and witness the powerful effect new connections have on your career. Remember: it’s all about gaining mindshare.
- Study, study, study. Enrol in classes where you can sharpen your axe and remain competitive. Better yet: why not take a course in something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unrelated to what you usually do? If you’re a financial executive, for instance, a summer course in digital marketing will help you adapt to changes in the banking horizon.
- Recharge. Take action to sleep better. Buy a sleep mask, cool down your room and ditch caffeine after 3pm. Feed your body some good food. Take more walks, or swim, or lift weights. Or whatever. Get moving and shaking. You’ll have a lot more energy to handle the upcoming surge in demand for your time when autumn rolls in.
- Live a little. Take a little time off. Make some memories somewhere different. This is the season for having a little fun. Not only will this reduce your stress levels, it will also give you a great conversation hook when you get asked the infallible, “Did you enjoy your summer?” in a job interview.