With summer in full-swing, many job seekers not only find it hard to stay motivated in looking for work, but many key decision-makers are taking vacations, which slows the hiring process as well.
Here are 3 ways to keep your job search moving in the right direction. 1. Leverage summer gatherings as networking opportunities.
This season brings barbecues, weddings and other large-scale get-togethers that offer you the chance to network. Catching up with family and friends on what they are doing for work can result in leads on open positions with their employers. The feel-good factor at these events brings out the best in everyone, which means you can enlist people to refer you more easily.
2. Volunteer at outdoor events.
Concerts, festivals and fairs are common in the summer. Find the ones you enjoy in your area and volunteer to work at them. Not only will you meet new people who share your passion for the event, you'll also get to attend for free. Better still, the enjoyment of being part of the event will inspire conversation and connections that could lead to job referrals down the line. If a person liked working alongside you at the festival, they might be more likely to pass your resume along for a job at their company because they now know your work style is conducive to their company's work environment.
3. Set up informational interviews.
The summer brings a more relaxed work schedule for many busy professionals. Company initiatives and departmental projects slow down to compensate for employees taking summer vacations. This can be the ideal time to finally connect with someone you've been hoping to network with. Offer to bring them an ice coffee or summer treat in exchange for a half-hour conversation regarding their business or industry. There's a good chance they'll finally say "yes" and give you the opportunity to get their advice on where you might find your next position.
Example: Children's Birthday Party Leads to Director of Operations Job
I was at a birthday pool party for one of my daughter's friends last summer. The party was filled with mommies and their children. Sitting in the middle of them was one father. His wife had an event to go to, so he had been put in charge of bringing their daughters to the party. We talked about work and he mentioned that he was looking to change careers. I asked a little bit about his background and what he hoped to do.
The following week, a good friend called to let me know that he was secretly looking for a new director of operations for his growing business. He didn't want to post the job and deal with a thousand applications, so he was calling a few colleagues he trusted for referrals. The father at the party immediately came to mind and I tracked him down and set him up for an interview. He had an instant connection with my friend and got the job. He still jokes about how going to that children's birthday party was the best career move he ever made!
Don't assume summer will stall your job search. Instead, use the ideas above to approach your job search from a new perspective. You just never know where your next opportunity will come from!
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