For many people, the month of July signals the start of summer hours, monthly long weekends, summer vacations and a more relaxed attitude, workload and dress code in the workplace. If you do business or resource planning or you are either unemployed and looking for work or employed and searching for your next role or career, July can be the most positive, productive, pressured and progressive month of the year.
Did you know that July is one of the busiest hiring months of the year? Here are two reasons why this is the case. First, individuals who lead teams and manage projects may only notice skill gaps and knowledge requirements while their people are away on vacation or as they plan to move into the next critical phase of a project. Second, many organizations focus on their business and resource planning for the next calendar year in July. If they are proactive, they will anticipate the need to hire more people, some for very specialized roles that are highly valued in their business, industry and marketplace. If you are an active participant in the recruitment process for these roles, you know you can attract the ideal candidate if they have the time and energy to speak with you, the flexibility to explore possibilities in other organizations and the adaptability to move to different cities and/or countries either close by or on the other side of the world. Furthermore, savvy organizations want to get a running start and stay ahead of their competition in securing the best talent for these coveted roles. The individuals that are selected to fill these roles will be grateful that they have been hired over the summer especially if they have school age children, must pack up and sell one home, buy and move into a new home and settle in a new city.
If you are unemployed and looking for work or employed and searching for your next role or career, July is the perfect month to network with new and old contacts, do information interviews or job shadows with individuals within your current organization or with other organizations and to apply for roles that are a stretch for you rather than staying in your comfort zone. You have an advantage over other job-seekers who may have chosen to take the summer off and start their search in September or who are vying for the same job opening but may miss it because they are on vacation or the timing may just be wrong for them. Avoid being tempted to allow the low-key, laid-back atmosphere encouraged by the heat and sunshine of July to cause you to dull your competitive edge or lose your focused ambition. Remember to dress every business day as if you could suddenly have the chance to meet the CEO of your current or dream organization.
If you are fortunate enough to be taking some vacation time in July, use it wisely. Take a moment to think about how things are going in your professional life. You may find after some soul-searching that even though you really enjoy what you do and like who you are working with, something is missing and you would like to explore what else is out there. Or you may feel that you are very happy and have no interest in looking elsewhere. As luck would have it, this is when you will probably receive an unexpected e-mail or phone call that informs you that a competitor is chasing after you and trying to lure you away by offering a more senior role with greater responsibility and a lucrative compensation package. Then, you will have to decide whether to start this conversation, take this journey or pass it on to someone else. There are countless opportunities to make the most of what July can offer you so avoid limiting yourself by letting valuable time fly in July!