Are you one of those people who, being unemployed decided nonetheless to give yourself a vacation? You know, you promised yourself that after August was over, you’d get serious again about looking for a job? Well, if this is you, I implore you to start now and not wait until September officially arrives because if you wait until the end of August, you’ll likely miss opportunities that others will have seized.
Now many people I’m sure are puzzled at the idea of unemployed people taking a vacation in the first place. Re-allocating time from job searching to not searching perhaps, but ‘vacation’ somehow seems to be the wrong word. Yes to many, a vacation means a break from paid employment where the employee is still getting paid from the employer. Hence in this definition, the unemployed person giving themselves a vacation doesn’t fit.
Of course, the unemployed person might state that they are indeed getting paid; either through employment insurance or being in receipt of some kind of social assistance benefits. They may inadvertently offend the wrong person by laughing about being in receipt of government benefits and taking a vacation; making the mistake of essentially telling the wrong person who sees themselves as paying in part for this persons vacation as a taxpayer. Well let’s leave that whole discussion for another time as it alone could fill several blogs.
Let’s get back to getting going again on that job search. Mid-August to mid-September is here in Canada the 2nd best time to get hired, second only to the March to April months. If you look at sheer numbers, you’ll see there are a lot of employers who take on new employees during these periods. So based on the hiring trends of employers – at least here in North America, you’d best get going now.
A second reason to get going now is that you are likely similar to most people who move from one state of mind to another gradually. The state of mind of someone who has essentially given themselves a break from job searching for a month or two isn’t likely to kick into high gear without some sputtering and false starts. What I’m saying is that if you last looked seriously for work in June, you’re not likely to go from zero job searching over the summer to a full-time, 7 hour daily job search in a day. No, you’ll likely fall to the temptation of just another day at a beach, another ice cream cone with some friends or another day of sleeping later than you know you should if you’re committed to a job search.
Given the above, you might find that by starting now on your job search, you’ll be far more likely to hit September at full speed than you will if you fully ignore the job search until August 31. Just as a teacher can tell on the first day of class the child who has done some reading or review over the summer from the child who hasn’t, Employment Counsellors and employers can tell who has been focused on job searching and who hasn’t when they meet them. Unlike children however who are in class from September to June the following year, you as a job seeker are only looking for work as long as it takes to get a job offer.
There’s a lot to job searching; if you’re being honest and upfront. There’s cover letter writing, scanning job boards, doing research on potential jobs, employers, employees and hiring trends. There’s resumes to craft, references to find and keep updated, thank you notes to pen, computer skills to upgrade, job search logs to update every day, rejection letters to send, phone calls to make; including cold calls. There’s the fall wardrobe to think about and possibly add to. After a summer of not job searching and indulging in guilt-free meals and ice cream cones, there are the existing clothes in the closet to go through and find what no longer fits and needs replacing.
More important than any one or in fact all the items in the previous paragraph, there is the state of mind – what you’re thinking between the ears – that needs some attention. You can’t just switch on and off the necessary toughness and commitment to job search like you can a light switch. Job searching is tough; if it was easy, you’d be employed by now after all and wouldn’t have quit over the vacation period in the first place. If you don’t think finding a job is hard, I suspect you haven’t really looked for one in a while. Well either this or you aren’t looking for a challenging job that matches your skills and interests.
Look, there are a lot of people just like you who aren’t looking for work full-time. Some have removed themselves from looking out of frustration; others may have just taken the summer off. Get going now and you can get a small but important advantage over these people. The longer you put off looking for work, the more you help your competition who’d love nothing better than you just continue to spend your days at beaches or in front of computer gaming screens; such activities only help their chances at getting job offers that would interest you.
You’re choice of course, but the smart folks are already looking.