Career Link: Five tips for your summer job search

Summer can be challenging. The ever changing temperature, humidity and realization that we Minnesotans really only have three months weeks to enjoy it. What adds to the strife and struggle are complex schedules, holiday weekends and a possible tumultuous family reunion where uncle Stan wants to interrogate the job status, goals and life plan of all his 17 nephews and nieces. Whether or not you are Stan’s nephew or niece, re-evaluating your career path shouldn’t be put on hold during the summer months, in fact it may be the best time to turn up the heat.

Employers tend to relax schedules during summer months and are far more lenient with vacation. Most people want to enjoy the sunshine and in many places this increases productivity as well as the mood throughout the office. Companies don’t just hire at a specific time each year, positions open up all the time and new positions can be created at the drop of a hat.

While the thought of sitting at your computer, searching online for a new job is not the most exciting when sun, lakes and golf courses are calling out, why not take the job search with you? Invite a contact to lunch outside, network on the links with fellow enthusiasts in your foursome and inquire to what your softball, volleyball and other team members and competitors do in their professional lives. With the sun shining, a relaxed atmosphere is created and what better conversation starter to use than… “How ‘bout this weather?”

Here are a few important items to consider for your summer job search:

Be consistent.

If Tuesday is golf league, and Thursday is your kid’s little league, dedicate Wednesday evening or Sunday morning to updating LinkedIn, refreshing your resume and scouring job postings.

Take your search with you.

Just because a trip to the cabin means limited network access, or a four hour trek out of state, that shouldn’t put the search on hold. Meet your fellow sun soakers and create a connection in a far more relaxed atmosphere.

Use your kids.

Not only is your schedule crazy, but so is your kids’. Between schlepping them from summer camp to swim lessons, it is far more likely you are a full time chauffeur than accountant or marketing assistant. Put that time to good use, tune into relevant news stations to stay on top of trends, buy books on tape to brush up on a new skill or learn something new. And buddy up on the bleachers. Parents love to talk with other parents, get to know Sally’s mom, she could be the lead you need.

Be realistic.

If there are three week long trips scheduled on your summer calendar, it may not be the best time to try and start a new job. Be honest when interviewing. Start dates can be negotiated, but only so far. Pre-scheduled vacations may not be paid when starting a new position, and may not be granted at all.

It takes time.

Any job search will take on average six months, don’t waste precious time this summer by not taking advantage of time and situations that could be beneficial to your career goals.

The summer passes by quickly, be sure to take the time for family and friends but to also review those goals or life plans made this past January. It is never too late to start over or to embark on a new challenge.