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Mid-November to mid-January - the best time to . . . . . .

. . . . . . NETWORK!

Many years ago, a study was done that actually tried to quantify how long it takes to find a job.  Through multiple-regression analysis (a subject I once studied in graduate level statistics), 57 different factors were identified that impacted job search time.  For the purpose of this Blog entry, we will focus on the calendar (1 of the 57 items).

This Blog entry is being posted on November 15th

While I can control the posting date (posting this on any date), there is nothing we can do to control what day/date it is.  Of the 57 different factors identified in the study, 2/3 (or 38) are out of our control.  Date is one of them.  The study divided the calendar into 4 unequal segments, each with a specific relationship to job searching:
  • Mid-January to mid-May - the new year, with fresh budgets and pent-up demand (we are coming off the holidays and while we all work hard, not as much is accomplished).
  • Mid-May to mid-September - it's summer, a time for vacations and family (children are out of school and the weather is generally more cooperative).  In Minnesota, it seems as if 1 of every 3 people is actually on vacation and the work week seems to shorten (the highways are packed starting mid-day on Friday with Minnesotans going 'up-north' for the weekend).
  • Mid-September to mid-November - while the budgets are not fresh, there is indeed pent up demand from the slower summer season.  Children are back in school, and while fall days are beautiful, we are in a push to get things done before the holidays.
  • Mid-November to mid-January - most talk is about travel and holiday plans.  While the year is not over, forecasts for year-end are done.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means this 2-day holiday (unless you are in retail) becomes a 3 or 4-day holiday with travel and winding down (and starting back up).  The focus AFTER Thanksgiving is Christmas and New Year's Eve, whether you celebrate it or not.  It is a timeframe with at least 1, if not 3 lesser productive weeks.

People are in a good mood around the holidays

It is a positive time for almost everyone.  People seem willing to get together to talk.  Getting together for coffee or a cocktail seems possible and even welcomed.  We have been 'heads-down' all year; a more social get-together with 'business catching-up' as the premise is almost welcome.

Not all  network contacts are created equally

These next two months will go by very quickly.  While 60 days sounds long, we miss a large portion of it because of short weeks, travel, family, work and the actual time away from work.  Think about who you really want to connect with - long-time work friends, past co-workers, peers from other companies, and true 'connectors' . Connectors, as defined by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point, are people in a community who know large numbers of people and are in the habit of making introductions (thank you Wikipedia for the quick definition).  Pre-think your connections during this timeframe; while this does sound less friendly than simply networking for purely social purposes, the return on your networking activities will pay dividends as 2013 unfolds.

Wishing you all a wonderful (start to the) holiday season!