Summer Job Search For Grown Ups.
When it comes to job search, every season has its advantages and disadvantages. You might think the holidays are the most difficult time to find new employment, and it would be hard to argue the point. But if there’s a ranking for difficult job search seasons, summer might come in a close second, especially for adults with family obligations.The trouble with summer isn’t a lack of opportunity, specifically. Indeed, in some areas of the country, all kinds of businesses kick into gear in these steamy months, including road construction, agriculture and tourism.
Rather, summer gains its ranking for the simple fact of being summer. This is when the kids are home from school, when long-delayed house projects seem most pressing, and when relatives are prone to visit — or demand visits from you.
The secret for launching a successful summer search? It’s all in the management. That is, you must manage the process and the distractions, while still managing to have fun.
Managing the process. Job search processes in the summer don’t really differ from any other period of time. The main point is that there is a process, and that it must be managed. For job seekers who were laid off from full-time jobs, this can be surprisingly daunting.
The problem stems from the sharp contrast between having been overcommitted while working, and suddenly having flexibility. While no one complains about having too many hours in the day, they do struggle with productivity and structuring their time.
With entire shelves of books devoted to time management, the search for a solution can become a time-eater itself. Cut to the chase with this one powerful tip: Choose a specified time each day for your job search and stick to it religiously. For example, by job searching from 9 a.m. to noon every weekday, you will complete 15 solid hours by week’s end. Not much, you say? Perhaps not, but it beats the national average by a wide margin.
The real beauty of establishing regular work hours is the momentum you will build. Soon after creating this structure, you’ll find that you’re able to focus more quickly as you start each session. You’ll also gain more peace of mind during your “off” hours, and even begin to look forward to your work periods.
Once you have some regular sessions under your belt, review other strategies for managing your process. Now you’ll be in the right frame of mind to know which ones might work best for you.
Managing the distractions. Kids home from school? Home projects beckoning? Maybe it’s just the sunshine and fresh air that you can’t ignore. Whatever your situation, you’ll soon find that the preceding tip for establishing your daily structure will help enormously.
Here’s how it works: Block out your job search hours on a weekly calendar for everyone — including you — to see. When requests and demands come in, as they inevitably will, respond by referring to the schedule. If you keep consistent job search hours, it won’t take long for everyone to get the picture: You are unavailable during this window, just as if you were working outside the house.
Of course, if there are kids to tend, this scheduling concept can seem idealistic at best. You may need to team with other parents, call in favors from friends, or enroll the kids in day camp, but if job search is a priority, you’ll find a way to get it done.
Managing to have fun. This last piece of the puzzle could be the most important. Without planning some downtime, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Have you ever noticed that your body demands breaks, whether you schedule them or not? When that happens, it’s usually not the kind of break you would have most enjoyed.
Reward yourself and acknowledge your family for supporting your search by planning some activities, even if they’re as simple as a bike ride or a trip to the zoo. If you’ve been managing your process and your distractions, you’ll be able to afford the time. Summer will end soon enough; there’s no need to miss out on the fun. Source/Credit: Amy Lindgren for the AJC.com.