I am often asked questions that closely resembles the following, “what can I do this summer to improve my marketability and long-term career goals? Is it a good time or bad time to ramp up my search? The answer is yes and that I have several thoughts on what you can do to advance your search and career overall.
It is important to remember that companies are always hiring. Some industries have specific timelines for recruiting or moments during the calendar year when positions start to open up (i.e. higher education and the summer or at the end of each academic semester). Many others adopt a slower pace and people are in and out of the office for vacations. Deadlines come up and summer planning begins. This is an environment that is often more conducive to your search than you think!
Secondly, when the weather is warmer, people are more relaxed, create space in their schedules are often more open to experiences and conversations. If you are looking to conduct informational interviews with people in your target geographic location or glean industry information, now is the time to peruse your LinkedIn contacts, keep an eye on thought leaders and frequent Twitter posters and make a connection. Ask them for 20 minutes of their time to get iced tea or to take a short stroll at lunch to learn more.
During the summer, you are also more inclined to travel. Why not take advantage of seeing a new city or state that you are interested in moving to one day? Get a sense for the local culture and business sectors present in the area. You may only need to observe but if you are a “Chatty Cathy” like myself, you could take some time to chat with the local barista during your morning coffee or breakfast visit to learn more about what it’s like to work and live in the area.
Finally, summertime is also about finding space to reflect, enjoy the sun and read the books, articles and other things you weren’t able to do the rest of the year. Diversifying what you think about and understand makes you a more interesting person. When it comes time to interviewing, you can share what you learned in the books you’ve read (perhaps some are specific to your field) or talk about the trip you took to a cool new city. Your moments of reflection could also lead you to consider a skill you need to have to build klout with employers in anticipation of your search. There are many websites (i.e. Coursera or EdX) and other start up companies who offer free courses in so many different subjects that you can put on your resume and show employers that you spent time learning and growing in an area that was of interest to you. One last point I want to share about reflection: you can take this time to be mindful and plan how you want to approach your search in the fall. This little time of thoughtfulness can really go a long way in terms of conveying what you want genuinely and authentically to employers and those in your network.
Meghan is a career consultant, advocate and speaker for women’s professional success in addition to the Associate Director for Alumnae and Community Engagement at Mount Holyoke College. For more tips and advice, subscribe to Meghan’s monthly email newsletter at www.meghangodorov.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MeghanGodorov.
Copyright © 2015 Meghan GodorovLike this article? Share it!