When you’re gainfully employed, the long holiday weekends around Memorial Day and Labor Day are a breath of fresh air. When you’re trying to conduct a job search, however, these long weekends might feel more like an annoyance—even a hindrance. You are highly motivated to go on interviews, you’re chasing down job leads left and right, but no one in those offices is interested in having those conversations right now. “Let’s set something up after Labor Day,” they tell you casually—two weeks before the end of August.
You can’t really blame them. It’s a natural impulse for employers to wind down certain office activities in advance of a holiday weekend, mainly because they don’t want the holiday to interrupt the flow of a project. This time of year can be particularly challenging for job seekers because many people take their summer vacations in late July or August, and they typically don’t start focusing on work again in earnest until after Labor Day weekend. It’s just part of the natural ebb and flow of the work cycle. Of course, you don’t share their cavalier approach to work because being unemployed, you have a sense of urgency that these companies just don’t have right now.
Here’s the good news: Despite how it might feel right now, you’re not at the mercy of these potential employers, nor do you need to just sit around and wait for them to get interested in your resume. Here are some practical ways for you to redeem the “down time.”
Organize Your Leads
When you’re busy pounding the pavement, so to speak, it’s easy to forget whom you called, when you called them and what you said. Take advantage of this time by recalling those previous conversations and getting clear in your mind where you are in the application process. If you haven’t done so already, consider setting up a spreadsheet listing companies where you’ve applied or plan to apply, making note of whom you’ve spoken with at those firms and where they are in the consideration process.
Lay Your Plans
Another good use of your time right now is to scour the Internet for additional job openings—places where you haven’t yet applied for work who are looking for someone with your skills. As slow as the summer months can be, the fall can be an excellent time to kick your job search into high gear. Add these to your spreadsheet, update your resume and make a schedule so you can hit the ground running by reaching out as soon as people are back in the office.
Update Your Skill Set
Are there any new technologies or software programs you need to learn in association with your skill set? Any credentials or certifications that need updating? Now is the time to brush up on any possible gaps in your career training. Do some online study or borrow some books from the library if need be. Just take some time to make sure you’re ready for any exams you might need to take after the holiday weekend, or that you’re at least familiar with any software you might need to know when you land your next position.
Take a Break
Admittedly, if you’ve been out of work for more than a few weeks, you might not particularly feel like taking a long weekend for yourself and the family. But considering how hard you’ve been working on the job hunt, you need the down time as much as the next person. (Remember, a job search is work—it’s just not paid work yet.) Once you’ve made your preparations, take time for yourself. Give yourself permission to relax. Those job leads will be waiting for you after Labor Day, and you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle them.
Besides…if your efforts are to be successful, you need to rest up now. You’ll soon be busier than you know. Want some extra support in landing your dream job or career? “Fill out the Get In Touch” form on the right for a FREE 30-minute consultation with me.