As we enter the summer months, one of the questions I’m often asked is: ‘Is now a good time to be looking for a new job, or should I wait until the holiday period is over?’
It’s a great question and an important one to analyse. In any organisation, there is an argument that during the summer period there is less focus on business and more focus on holidaying – or is there?
In addition, as people venture off on holiday, those who remain are covering their colleagues’ workload, and are far too busy to be distracted by the need to hire – or are they?
Alternatively, is this the period employers take stock ahead of the run-up to Christmas and begin recruitment processes that have previously been put off? Is this the time when they actually have the time to make hiring decisions?
In reality, some organisations will be less inclined to recruit over the summer months, but others may use it as a golden opportunity to kick-start important recruitment activity.
Everything I advocate in successful job search comes back to proactive control – what you do and how you choose to do it. This directly determines your results in the job market. Furthermore, what you believe about the job market is what you’ll think, and these thoughts drive the action you choose to take (or not to take as the case may be).
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Think about it – if your belief centres on the proposition that in the summer months organisations rarely make hiring decisions, you are unlikely to take effective action to uncover opportunities that may actually exist. Here the words ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ spring to mind!
On the other hand, if the majority believe this and take no action as a result, if you’re the one who doesn’t, won’t it be far easier to stand out? Successful job search is about standing out – observing what everyone else is doing and choosing to do the opposite is an important recipe for success.
When I’m asked what the most important thing is when it comes to finding a new position, my answer is always psychology. What you believe, how you think and therefore the action (and what’s more the consistent action) you’re prepared to take is the fuel that ignites the fire of fortune. Many believe it’s the CV/resume, but this is what everyone else is focusing on!
When I ran my recruitment business we won one of our biggest clients on Christmas Eve. I’m sure as Christmas grew closer many of our competitors held the belief that there was no business to be had and it was best to start back at it again in January. We, on the other hand, believed something different and used the Christmas period (right up until the day itself) as a way to keep in touch with existing clients and break ground with new ones. A call to the organisation in question landed at the right time and got through to the main decision maker (this was made much easier as his PA had already left for the year). There was a recruitment problem and we presented a solution, which led to repeat business for many years to come.
Even if you can’t see job opportunities relevant to your situation and experience advertised, don’t worry. A high proportion of career opportunities are never advertised in the public domain and instead exist in the place I call the ‘hidden market’, which results from how employers prefer to recruit. Believe in its existence, think it and act accordingly, and through a proactive approach where you’re in control, there’s a much higher probability of finding and securing the position you really want.
Of course, it’s important to take a holiday and to balance work with the opportunity to relax. However, if you’re not taking a break this summer and are keen to find a new position, before you hang up your gloves take a moment to question what you believe.
In summary, the best time to find a new position is when you’re ready to take proactive control of your job search. Before you take a break from your job search this summer consider whether now might be a great time to take action, to stand out, and to secure the opportunity you really want.
If you found this article useful feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.
To read previous articles in this series, please visit my content series page.
About Simon Gray
Simon Gray FCA is a chartered accountant, former professional recruiter and founder of Career Codex.
He is the author of Super Secrets of Successful Executive Job Search – Everything you need to know to find and secure the executive position you deserve.
To listen to the Career Codex podcast, please click here.