It’s almost Christmas. It’s before New Year’s. It’s August. It’s Monday. It’s 4:30 in the afternoon.
You could call those mere descriptions of time. In the world of job- hunting, I call them excuses.
I’ve heard them all: “Summer is a lousy time to look for a job.” “Don’t call Monday morning; give people a chance to get back to their routines.” “No one’s around during the last two weeks of December (or the first two weeks of July).”
What’s wrong with thinking about job-hunting time this way? Several things.
First, there’s rarely a universally good time to look for a job. And there’s seldom a time when finding a job is horrible for everyone. Someone in my family has been out of a job for more than two years. When he stopped working the economy was still booming, but that didn’t translate into a job. Sure, now we’re in a recession and thousands of people are unemployed. But there are still thousands of companies that are looking for the right people. After all, recession or not, employees still move, quit, get promoted and even die.
Another reason to ignore the general trend: You’re not looking for 10,000 jobs; you only need one. When companies look for people, they generally hire one at a time, too. Aside from gigantic manufacturing complexes and huge relocations, most corporate hiring doesn’t involve adding thousands of people at a time. So trends may be one thing. Getting one job from one company at any one time is something entirely different.
Another reason to ignore the calendar and conventional wisdom: Finding a job is not like getting your car registered at the motor vehicle department. You don’t read the instructions, fill out a few forms, follow the procedure set by a platoon of bureaucrats, and get a job. Particularly in a recession, job hunting is more cunning and game-like. Think of it as the dance you go through when buying a car or knowing how to figure out when clothes will go on sale at a department store. You’ve got to be a guerrilla fighter.
Many job hunters, for instance, find jobs and get hired during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Why? Because almost everyone else isn’t bothering to look. If a company needs someone with your talents and experience, and you happen to come along at the right time – even if that time is Dec. 28th – why wouldn’t they hire you?
Using the same logic, if you call an employer before normal business hours, you could make a positive impression – and get a jump on others who call later.
The answer, of course, is to try everything and not to be a slave to convention or negative thinking. Remember, just because the economy turned weak, you didn’t become incompetent. You can still do a great job for the right employer and you have the moxie and creativity to figure out who that employer might be. Once you’ve decided whom to call and write, go for it – and don’t let the calendar or the clock stop you.
(C) Copyright 2001 Evan Cooper. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.