It’s the end of the summer and as the kids are heading back to school, the traffic grinds to a slow crawl and the stores are packing it in with Halloween candy. You are reminded that the end of the summer does not mean the end of your job search. The war continues to wage on as you may have taken the summer off to enjoy some much needed R&R with friends and family, but it does not mean you are dead if you have not landed your next job. Consider this summer your career resting post – it’s okay to take a rest for awhile.
The summer is a time to relax-no really it is. No matter whether you live in the forever summer state of California or somewhere in the North East, summer denotes a time of relaxation, reflection and oh yes bug spray. If you are feeling guilty about not putting the pedal to the metal with your job search over the summer months- stop beating yourself up! September is a perfect time to regroup, rethink and re-engage your job search before the first snowflakes suddenly appear.
- Make a Plan: Even if you have no clue what to do or where to begin, enlist the help of a trusted friend or hire a professional. Mapping out your career direction may not land you the perfect job, but it will give you hope that there are opportunities out there that you may not have thought of before. Making a plan may seem like a waste of time, but while you wipe that sun tan lotion off from your last soak of summer, remember, thinking about your next job move no matter how far out there is NOT a waste of time. You have to start somewhere.
- Reach Out and Touch Someone: You may think you were raised with great manners and a sense of professionalism that sets you apart from the rest of the hopelessly unemployed. Making sure you not only “thank” anyone and everyone who may have made an introduction, sent an email on your behalf or even accepted your LinkedIn request, means you are able to share some acknowledgement to those who matter. Having common professional courtesy does not mean you have to bribe your way to the top with gifts of tickets to the US Open. Being professionally courteous and being grateful and thankful to those who have or will help you along the way with your job search, ensures that you will remain front of mind when a friend or colleague hears about the next, best opportunity that’s right for you.
- Ask and You Shall Receive: Nothing is easier than to help someone who knows exactly what they want, whether it’s an introduction to a company, or to an individual or to participate in a networking event. Being clear on your objective, even if you are not sure on what the job is, will help others help you in a way that is positive and meaningful to both of you. You will never know about the job, event, or individual who may be the next step to your future job if you don’t figure out a way to ask for help from those who are in a position to offer it to you. No one is suggesting you “beg” for your next job, but inquiring about new leads, contacts, events or even volunteering opportunities that will connect you to the right people is not a waste of time, it makes for smart business.
So long as you keep moving towards your career goal no matter how insignificant the steps may seem means you are far from dead in the career water-it means you are wading and resting through your options towards your next big, career win.
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