When your blog and subsequent post in discussion groups is read around the globe, one of the key things you have to understand is that when it’s the dead of winter for some readers, it’s mid-summer for others. So me commenting on job searching when it’s cold, snowy, icy and there isn’t a great deal of daylight might seem off to many readers.
Of course I’m writing this from Canada; from the Province of Ontario. My home is set in a community about an hour and a half north-east of the City of Toronto. While I live in a town, I work an hour away in the City of Oshawa which gives me both the rural and urban, small town big city perspective. That perspective often rolls into the blogs I write.
So today is January 25; a month ago it was Christmas day, and a lot of unemployed people were putting off their job search until the start of 2015 under the mantra that nobody hires in late December. Now in 2015, many of those same people have barricaded themselves in their homes and apartments, sheltering themselves from the dead of winter and promising themselves that they’ll start job searching when things warm up a bit, the streets aren’t as dark and the roads to travel on are less treacherous.
When you are looking for work, one of the most obvious things one has to deal with is the competition; the number of people you are up against for those positions you are applying to. Wouldn’t you normally jump at an opportunity to get an edge up on that competition? Take advantage of a situation when you could compete against fewer applicants? Welcome to January in the northern hemisphere.
Okay so for starters, there are many people who are giving themselves a month or two to kick back and sit on the sidelines as far as job searching goes.
Now here’s another advantage for you if you are wise enough to realize it. Some of the jobs you might want badly in the summer are in fact doing their resume collecting, interviewing and hiring right now. The prudent job hunter who for example is seeking a job as a Youth Counsellor in a residential summer camp would be wise to be sending their resume to all the residential camps they are interested in working for right now. In fact, you may already be too late to submit your application for some of these camps even though you wouldn’t start the job until late May or early June.
Now let’s stay with this particular profession for another suggestion. Suppose as a late-twenties to mid-forties Youth Counsellor, you are finding your resume lacks recent experience. Your concern is that while you have recent education and perhaps even great references, those references are 4 or 5 years old and becoming a great deal less impressive because of the widening gap in time. How can you quickly get 2015 experience on your resume?
One option could be to get into a situation quickly where you are working with youth. Although it’s nearing the final week of January, you could be one of the smart ones who has applied for a job with some Recreation organization supervising March Break programs. Here in my part of the world, some of those positions have already been advertised for and the application deadlines past.
“Ah”, you might counter, “I didn’t go to school and become a Youth Worker, Teen Counsellor, etc. just to take a 5 day job over the March Break.” On the surface I see your point. However, consider this: we’re only 25 days into 2015 and comparatively few people have 2015 experience and training on their resume or CV. Even if you were working up to early December last year, to the mind’s eye, a quick scan of your CV makes it look like you were last working in 2014 – over a year ago. Getting 2015 experience on that resume and quickly going about it should be your prime goal.
Here’s more incentive for the wise among you: It won’t be that long until the University and then College crowds will be released from school classrooms and another entire generation flooding the job market with all their youthful enthusiasm, drive and far more recent training than you have. In 4 or 5 months, the high school kids are out too. And of course if you are a parent of a child who isn’t in school full-time, you will have a child to impede your job search come June.
So the overall message I’m sending you? GET GOING NOW! The worst snowy days are the very ones to ramp up your job search not shut it down. Just Friday I had one of the people I am working with of late decide to get out to a store and apply for a retail sales position; this despite the fact that many people are assuming no hiring goes on in January in the retail world, just Christmas lay-offs. Turns out she made a great impression and not only has a job offer to become a Sales Associate, but was first told that another location was actually interviewing for a senior role and her application would be forwarded there first. She got a call later on Friday and had an interview for a Leadership role in the 2nd location yesterday afternoon which I’ll hear about on Monday.
Yes people, get out there; they’re hiring!