As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q3 2016 Issue
IN JOB SEARCHES AS IN WORK, CONSISTENCY IS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
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 mind-set (who can argue with that logic, right?) the seeker of the next step in his/her career must be present and active to be noticed. You’ll be much more in the driver’s seat and have a competitive advantage if you stay consistent, even during “slow periods.”
But let’s examine this “nothing’s going to happen” concept. Are things really “slow”? 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. And yes, things slow down in July because of vacations. And yes, things slow down during the first quarter because people are unwilling to leave their present employers before collecting 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 sign-on bonuses to people to make up for what the new employee is walking away from, if they really need that new person to start.
In a competitive job search, the best time to pursue a new position is when your competitors are all taking it slow— because of the holidays or summer, because they are waiting to collect their bonuses, or because of whatever reason they may have. Now is the time to go harder with the search because you are at a competitive advantage by not being hindered by the mind-set that things slow down to a halt.
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. That’s how you’ll discover your competitive advantage.