Career consultant Nancy Hanquist says summer can offer job-seekers a brief -- brief -- break from their search and help them cleanse their palate for the future. "People tend to think that everyone works fewer days in the summer, but in reality, they work as much but their workload shifts. They do a lot of the creative work they didn't have time for in the previous months."
Bryan Lindberg, a real estate developer, says he has a box of magazine pages and printouts under his desk that he goes through every week. Well, at least in theory he does. But the reality is that Lindberg goes through a few pages a month and uses summer to tackle his idea box. "I am one of those avid page-tearers when it comes to magazines like "Fast Company" and "Wired," but I don't always have the time to go through what I've collected, so when I get a little bit of breathing room, I dive right in."
While Lindberg admits that much of what he finds is no longer relevant to him or his business, he says he gets "more than enough ideas" to make his ritual worthwhile. "I sit there with a notebook and my laptop and go to town," he says. "I find things that fit into what I'm doing now and ideas that could work in the future. And I find a lot of strategies for working with others. That stuff is huge. Those are the types of ideas I don't have time to ponder in my busy seasons."
Hanquist says it's important for job seekers to keep their engines running throughout the summer vacation season. "There's a myth that no hiring takes place between June and August, but that's false," Hanquist says. "While some HR departments certainly slow down a bit, there are more managers who take a hands-on approach to hiring in the summer."
Hanquist says that's because many managers want to keep the year going strong, so they want to be prepared with a full slate of employees when fall begins. "If you have big plans for the upcoming months, you'll need to be properly staffed," she says. "Why wait on hiring someone? That's counterproductive. Your competitors may be working overtime to find the best talent out there, so you need to stay proactive."
And if companies are being proactive, it only makes sense that job seekers share the same enthusiasm about looking for work. "There is no time off when you don't have a job," Hanquist says. "You take a few days off and the job of your dreams may be posted and filled while you're experimenting with cookie recipes. Don't be a slacker. Don't get lulled into enjoying a vacation because you have no vacation. Keep looking, keep working, keep connecting and good things will happen."
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