The Summertime Vibe Shift In The Job Market

 The Unofficial Start Of Summer

There is a vibe shift during the Memorial Day weekend. It signifies the unofficial start of summer. The local town pools open and so do public beaches. You can feel the change in weather. The sun is shining, and winter clothes are stored away. The kids are happily counting down the days until school is over. Parents start planning family vacations. Our collective mood positively changes, especially those of us who live in cold climates for most of the year.

What To Expect When Job Hunting In The Warm Weather

Vacation schedules wreak havoc on the hiring process. If you are seeking a new job, be mentally prepared, there is a downside to this period. Historically, from around now to the middle of September, there is a steady slowdown in hiring. Since people generally plan vacations for the summertime, the folks involved with the hiring process may not be around.

Every year we see the same scenarios play out over and over again. The human resource professional quarterbacking the interview process places an out-of-the-office notice on her email and phone message. By the time she returns, the hiring manager is in Disneyland. Then the candidate is on a beach somewhere.

Since interviews now require three to around ten rounds with personnel from the group along with other divisions, it becomes nearly impossible to get everyone aboard with the interviews in an orderly fashion. Due to the fractured schedules, it's difficult to schedule interviews, momentum is lost, and the applicant is left out in the dark.

There’s A New Challenge For Interviewees

You’ll likely run into resistance when applying for a job and getting called for an interview. Inflation, supply chain disruptions, rising costs, the war in eastern Europe, overinflated valuations of startups, and a plunging stock market are taking their toll. We have seen a large number of tech companies put in place hiring freezes and started conducting some downsizing.

Corporate leadership abhors uncertainty. With all the issues swirling around, it's easier for hiring managers to slow-walk the process or simply put it on hold. They’d rather take a wait-and-see approach. As we get deeper into the summer, it's a convenient excuse to say “we might as well wait until September when everyone is back from vacation, and can then start looking at candidates once again.”

This doesn’t mean you should give up looking for a new job. It's meant to manage your expectations. If you interview and don’t hear back, you’ll know that it's not just you, this is a systemic matter for the time of year.

On The Positive Side

There is a wild card. Even with all the geopolitical drama over the last month or so, America still has around 11-million jobs available.

If the Federal Reserve doesn’t raise interest rates too quickly, the stock market stabilizes, inflation calms down, and China starts reopening and shipping goods to the U.S. as Covid-19 cases subside, we may see renewed optimism.

Many people pull themselves out of the job market since they have trips planned, just want to destress, enjoy the peaceful time away from the office, and don’t look forward to enduring an interview process during 90-degree weather.

Both hiring personnel and prospective job hunters will tell themselves, “I’ll enjoy the summertime, and get back to the search in the fall.” They’ll add, “After two years of being in a lockdown, and worried about catching or spreading Covid-19, and not getting out of the house too often, I just want to enjoy life for a while and not have to deal with any additional pressure.”

There is a contrarian game plan. You may want to put some travel plans aside for a while. With fewer job hunters around, there is less competition and you’ll stand out. If a company desperately needs to quickly hire, and there are not too many other candidates, you have a better chance of succeeding and winning the offer.

For those who get out of their search mode, they’ll be met with tough competition once everyone gets back into interviewing when the summer ends.

Easy-To-Do Career Enhancing Tips

If you aren’t thinking about a job switch this summer, consider how you can advance your career over the summer lull. Usually, companies offer Fridays off or at least a half-day. There is an unwritten rule that there’s more leeway during the summer months. Work and the pace of things appreciably slow down.

You can use this extra time to get ahead. Signup for some online classes. Get a needed license or certification that you’ve been putting off. Now that the pandemic has largely ebbed, cultivate a mutually benefiting network of like-minded professionals. Ask for career advice. Invite a person who is the role you’d love to have for a cup of coffee. Inquire about how they got to where they are, and see if she’d offer some tips and suggestions.

Reach out to recruiters to get on their radar. Request an online or in-person meeting to discuss your short and long-term career goals. Now that they know you, the recruiter can keep her eyes open for when the perfect job opens up. If you are unsure of what to do next, enlist the help of a career coach. The same holds true for your resume and LinkedIn. There are professionals who can write or enhance your resume and beef up your LinkedIn profile.

Since business generally slows down, schedule a meeting with your boss to go over expectations, and see if there is anything you could do to improve, add on new challenging tasks, or feel out if there are any internal lateral moves you could make. By the time September rolls around, you’ll be prepared and ready to take your career to the next level.

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