5 tips for beating the summer slump
By Liz Bernier
There’s no question that the job search process is just that: a process. It’s not a misnomer – it often takes quite a bit of time, motivation and dedication to stay the course of the long, arduous road toward your next great gig.
That process can become even more challenging during the summer months. Recruiters, interviewers and employers are on vacation; response times may be slower than usual; and job ads may not be quite as plentiful. Plus, it’s tough to stay motivated to pounding the metaphorical pavement every day when the weather is gorgeous and it seems like there are so many more enjoyable things to do.
But those job-seekers who keep their momentum going during the lazy days of summer may gain an edge over their competition. Let’s face it – if many others in the search market are mentally on vacation, it’s easier than ever for you to stand out, and perhaps to find opportunities others may have missed.
To that end, here are five tips to help make your summer job search pay off.
- A change of scenery: There’s no need to stay cooped up in your home all day when it’s beautiful outside – if it’s feasible and productive for you, try working in a coffee shop or a library. Or, if you have a good data plan, take it outside – go to the park, the beach, wherever you like to enjoy the weather! For many people, a change of scenery like this is a refreshing productivity booster.
- Eat that frog: You’ve probably heard of the old business adage about eating the frog first – the frog being, of course, the nastiest, most unpleasant task you have to accomplish. When it’s summertime and there are dozens of other things you could be doing, that old nugget of wisdom becomes even more important. Whenever possible, complete your most difficult task of the day first – you’ll have a much more relaxing day if it’s out of the way early.
- What not to wear: Of course, it’s hot out and everyone wants to dress comfortably for the weather. But it’s never a bad idea to be mindful that you still are somewhat polished and put-together if you may run into potential networking contacts. Don’t wear a full business suit – but make conscious decisions about your clothing if you know you may run into a key contact.
- Tap untapped opportunities: Think about it: if you’re feeling tired, discouraged and disengaged with your job search, chances are you’re not the only one feeling that way. Resist the temptation to defer your search or to “take a break,” and keep sending out applications and making contacts. Take advantage of the social nature of the season to make new networking connections. You never know – you may find a great opportunity while everyone else is mentally “on vacation.”
- Don’t deny yourself: With all that said, it’s still important to take some time for yourself. Just like during any other time of the year, self care is important, and particularly so during the sometimes discouraging job search process. Make sure you make time to see family and friends, and decompress from the stress. It will only add to your wellness and productivity in the long run!
Liz Bernier is the managing editor of HR Professional and a communications specialist with the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).