Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Accelerate Your Network During the Slow Summer Months

When I counsel clients on their job search during the summer months, they often tell me that they plan to put their search on hold because they think that everyone is out of town and no one is hiring during this season.

Actually, the summer months can be the best time to step up your search campaign because so many applicants believe this misperception of the market. Consider the following:

Fewer people in town could mean more opportunity.

Savvy job seekers know that the more visible they are, the greater the chances of meeting the person that can connect them with a viable job opportunity. This concept may be even more important when you are searching during the summer months. Some job seekers make the mistake of taking a break from their search during the summer months because they assume that no one is in the hiring mode. The reality is that summer networking may be more productive. Decision makers’ schedules are not as tight and they may be more generous with their time. By establishing relationships with the key players now, you are more likely to be remembered when the hiring picks up.

People do more entertaining during the summer months.

Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with firing up the grill, taking the tarp off the pool, and planning informal gatherings. These venues are excellent opportunities to reconnect with old friends and hook up with new contacts. There is always a chance to share information about what you do at these events.

Networking options increase in the warm summer months.

With the warm weather comes the opportunity to network in places that you can’t network in the colder months. One such place is the golf course. Golf continues to be one of the most effective places for referrals and new business. If you have children, consider spending time with them in the playground. Parks are filled with people who have connections to others. Parents tend to gravitate to certain playgrounds on a regular basis so you have a chance to establish and grow the relationship over several visits. Bring along toys that encourage cooperative play including balls, Frisbees, and jump ropes and you’ll have an audience of eager kids and adults in no time.

Family obligations may be reduced during summer.

If you have older children, your family obligations might be reduced during the summer months. Children typically aren’t juggling as many activities and their time away from you may be extended if they are in a day or sleep away camp program. This could be the perfect time to participate in some early morning or after hours meetings and activities that are difficult to commit to during the school year.

Establishing relationships in the summer time is an excellent way to make inroads with decision makers who may be hiring in the fall. Hiring managers may be more accessible, more relaxed, and just in a better frame of mind during the summer months.



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