I often hear job seekers say things like: “I’ll probably slow down now because with the holidays coming it’s going to be slow” or “nothing much is going to happen now that it’s summer so I’ll probably be more active again in September.” While I understand the mindset (who can argue with that logic, right?) the seeker of the next step in his/her career is at a competitive disadvantage when he/she thinks that way. You’ll be much more in the driver’s seat and have a competitive advantage when you stay consistent even during “slow periods”.
But are things really “slow” in the first place? Doesn’t this idea imply the feeling that there will be nothing coming up because the executive team isn’t focused on continuing quickly with their strategic hires? Yes, things slow down in December because of the Holidays; yes, things slow down in July because of vacations; and yes, things slow down during the 1st quarter because people are waiting to collect their bonuses. But do things really slow down to the point where there is no hiring? While I understand that the general idea is valid because the process is slower, what I’ve found is that the hiring continues. Companies are planning for the New Year and would like to hire someone to hit the ground running in January. Companies are still hiring in July because the need is still there and yes, companies are paying people out on their bonuses during the 1st quarter if they really need that person to start.
When we do start getting close to bonus payout time, i.e. 4-6 weeks away, then yes, some companies may in fact wait to bring someone on board, but that shouldn’t slow down the process on your end. As a matter of fact, when we do get to that 4-6 week window before bonuses are paid out, consider this: if you happen to be in between things and are not waiting on a bonus payout, NOW is the time to go harder with the search because you are at a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE by not being hindered by wait time to collect your bonus.
So is the job market ever actually slower? YES, in the sense that sometimes we are in periods where the time between 1st, 2nd and 3rd round interviews is more spaced out and NO in the sense that the roles are still there. When there is a need, there is a need. The key is to be consistent even during down times.
So, send that note, invite that person for coffee, have that dinner, network and stay in touch with people even during those “slow periods”. You just might find yourself with an opportunity you never would have known about and you’ll soon discover YOUR competitive advantage!