Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ah summertime -- kick off the flip flogs, put your resume in the shelf until Fall - NOT!

"The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do." - Unknown Okay – it is Memorial Day Weekend – the unofficial start of summer especially in the Northeast. Ah summer – time to kick-back, sit under a tree, hand out at Saratoga Racecourse, SPAC, Lark Street et al. It’s time to just relax. Yes – and no. Yes relax and savor this great season albeit short in our region. But no -- if you are thinking about making a change in your career path – like 47% of the population is thinking about doing. This is the time to make hay. Unfortunately, many “check-out” of the job market under the false pretense that the market slows down in the summer. The real truth - There is no piece of data or truth to that perception at all. In fact, this year, summer hiring should be a whole lot different: * Economic forecasters are pointing to a much stronger second half of the year, beginning with the third quarter (July 1st). After a lackluster first half when the job market in our region and nationally was anemic at best, this is welcomed news and will not be unlike 2010 when we saw the same situation occur as we climbed out of the recession. * – a leading job board – reports a stronger increase in hiring by private sector employers in the third and fourth quarters of 2010 with 25% planning to add full-time staff, up from 20% in 2010 and unchanged from last year. However, the bulk of hiring is planned for the second half. Careerbuilder surveys employers quarterly to evaluate hiring trends. * Unemployment is dropping – ever so slowly and certainly not what we expected – across the nation. In our region specifically, there has been year-over-year job growth and just this week it has been reported that we have gained back or replaced ll the jobs lost in the private sector since the recession started (the public sector hasn’t and I not expected to). * Manufacturing is improving – a leading indicator of economic improvement and signaling a bit more confidence. * Plans by employers to downsize – cut staff – are down two percentage points – not a great drop but showing a decrease in downsizing plans. Sometimes stability is good! In the years I have been tracking trends of job activity, there has been no significant drop in job market activity in the summer (or around the holidays in December - another untrue perception). Yes, around the 4th of July and Labor Day the market goes quiet for close to a week, but that is the only drop off. So don't shelve the resume - keep up the activity and use the summer to your advantage - There are so many opportunities to network with summer events - professional and personal - social gatherings and more. You this to your advantage; make new connections. Attend as many social gatherings as possible where the settings are more casual and you can make new acquaintances and perhaps contacts. Remember - 70-80% of jobs are the result of networking. Don't get sucked into the negative - You will meet people who will tell you the world is hell, the job market stinks and woe is me. Okay - the market has been off and is not as robust as 2011 to date - but it is so much better than 2009 for sure! Be with and align to positive people; let the naysayers wallow in and on their own. DON’T: • Think its summer and “lay back” and dress so. DRESS TO IMPRESS – always. Remember what you mom told you – wear clean underwear and make the best impression! No flip flops to interviews! • Be disconnected. Stay assessable when on vacation. Check your email and messages. Recruiters complain that in the summer, job seekers check out and they cannot reach them. You don’t want to lose a potential job because someone could not reach you! Enjoy the summer - make it worthwhile and profitable for you. The rays of sun energize people - get that energy and push on to your dreams. And thank you for reading this. - Dan

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