Don’t Let The Summer Slowdown Stop Your Job Search—Start Being Aggressive

Traditionally, the Fourth of July holiday weekend has always been considered the start of vacation season. People would bolt out of the office early Friday afternoon or take three-day weekends at the beach. As July turned into August, folks would take their two weeks off. The interviewing and hiring process would slowly grind to a halt. By mid-to-late August, even during the hottest job markets, it would be tough—nearly impossible—to get anything accomplished. The hiring manager would be out of the office on vacation and, when she’d return, the human resources person would be gone. Then, the job seeker would leave for his family’s annual summer trip. 

This routine was pre-Covid-19, but could quickly change. Many workers fall back upon business-as-usual and presume that interviewing over the summertime is a futile pursuit. Instead of assuming that the expected interviewing path will similarly happen this year, try to think differently. 

What are the odds that a large percentage of human resources professionals, hiring managers and others involved with the hiring process will take extended—or any—vacations this summer? With the sudden alarming spike in thousands of new Covid-19 cases, how many people will be eager to board an airplane, rent a car, stay in a strange hotel room and go to a place that may be packed with non-mask wearers? It’s more likely that people will continue to stay at home. If they do travel, it will be short car trips.

With this is mind, forget all about how it used to be. Most people will blindly follow the old path and discontinue their job search out of habit. They’ll say to themselves that nothing’s going to happen, as everyone will be away until September. In light of the unrelenting series of bad news and events brought about in 2020, a majority of job seekers may pause their search and hope that things will turn around once the summer is over.

You have the unique opportunity to stand out and get noticed, as people absentmindedly pull out of their job searches. With less competition, take this opportunity to step up your interviewing game. As people take themselves out of the job market, your chances improve.

To be fair, it won’t be easy. With 47 million Americans filing for unemployment since the start of the pandemic, major iconic companies (such as J.C. Penney and Hertz) filing for bankruptcy protection and massive layoffs continuing unabated, you’ll be swimming against the tide. You’ll need to be strong, resilient and persistent. Keep moving forward in the face of adversity. Dig down deep inside of yourself to find the inner grit and mental toughness to overcome all of the obstacles in your path—and there will be a lot of them.  

Don’t take it personally when there’s no feedback and calls and emails go unreturned. It’s not just you; this is happening to everyone. Accept the reality that things are tough and embrace the fact that you must be strong and determined to succeed. 

There will be bouts of self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, discouragement, embarrassment and petty humiliations. We’re all going through this together. Many people get so dejected that they lose hope. That’s not a viable option, as the waves of rejection could pull you even downward.  To succeed, you have to clearly set your sites on the goal and persevere, despite the challenges. It won’t be a walk on the beach, but if you don’t take assertive actions, nothing will ever change.

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