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'Tis The Season

The Blog post after this one will be post-Labor Day.  While technically not fall, the summer is coming to an end.  Schools have started across the country.  People are back from their summer vacations.  It is time to get back to work. There is a seasonality to job searching.  The fall is a great time to speed up your efforts.  Things slow down during the summer.  There are still jobs our there, but (at least in Minnesota) it seems that 1 out of every 3 employees is on vacation.  Friday afternoons are a time to leave early/start the weekend (and the drive 'up-north').

You can speed things up.

There was a study done by an outplacement firm in the 1980's (Swain & Swain) that actually quantified how long it takes to find a job.  It is the only study I have seen that actually puts timeframes on activities. While out of date, the study results - even today - give a clear idea of things you can do to get results faster.  Here are a few ideas to get you ready for your post-Labor Day push:
  • How decisive are you about choices and direction?
    • A job seeker that is focused (industry, function and geography as examples) cuts up to 3 weeks from their overall search.  The person who will look at anything (no real focus) adds up to 4 weeks.
  • How do you think your confidence will be throughout a job search?
    • A person who approaches each job search activity with confidence cuts 4 weeks from their search.  A person who lacks confidence shows it in their talk and actions.  Up to 4 weeks are added to the job search timeframe.
  • What is your general outlook on life and work?
    • The question here is whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.  The optimist shortens their efforts by up to 3 weeks; the pessimist adds up to 3 weeks - a 6 week spread based on your outlook.  As with confidence, you display this.
  • How would you describe your outward manner?
    • This is in many ways an extrovert versus introvert question.  A gregarious person cuts up to 4 weeks from their search.  Someone who is shy adds up to 6 weeks.  This can be a 10 week difference.  (Applying this to today, get out there and network; spend less time on websites.)
  • Do you see yourself as a team player and do others agree?
    • Job searching can be a lonely activity.  Add to this that companies seek people who can 'play well with others.'  A person who works well with others (combining resources, seeking input, etc.) shortens their search by up to 3 weeks.  The 'loner' can add up to 4 weeks.

Mid-September to mid-November

The study found that these months are one of the two fastest times of the year to get job search results. The other timeframe - mid-January to mid-May. Wishing those in transition or seeking a new challenge a fantastic fall season.