How to job-hunt when you’d rather be canoeing


Looking for a job is always a challenge, it’s especially tough to stay dedicated to your goal in the month of August when you feel as if everyone else is canoeing.

At The Bagg Group, we know vacations matter.  It helps to take a break from work – never getting a break from routine can zap your energy, not to mention dull the creative thinking and problem-solving skills you need to stay on top of your game.

And since we consider looking for a job to be a job, we advocate for taking some time off. But that said, if you can keep at your job-search at least part-time this month, you may get an important leg-up on the competition.

Here’s why: All of our five divisions place candidates in full-time and contract positions, and temporary placements, year-round. All told, we’ve placed more 60,000 people in 40-plus years.   We have proof that business doesn’t stop when school’s out for summer, even if the pace of business slows when decision-makers go on holiday.

Still, we get that it’s all too tempting to power off, and put life on hold until September. With that in mind, here are  some key tips to help you stay on track with your job search during the dog days of summer.

Keep looking while your competition is canoeing: A lot of job-hunters in Ontario put in zero to minimal effort to look for work in the summer.  Many write off August entirely. This is the number one reason why you shouldn’t.

Work summer hours: start and end earlier: Take your cue from the many companies across the GTA which are on summer hours, 8 a.m. / 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. / 4.30 p.m., often with Friday afternoons off.

Send out more requests for informational interviews: Summer is often slower at the office which means this is the optimal time to email a request for a 15-minute info meeting. Typically, people are more open to taking a time-out to help someone out this month.  Make a list of your 20 “most wanted” companies,  then do online research to figure out the best contact for you — usually that would be the head of the division for which you would like to work.

The early bird ….What’s the ideal time to make calls to follow up on your email request? There are no rules. But, if you’re cold-pitching, studies suggest early birds have the best chance of getting through. The research shows first thing in the morning (8 -9 a.m.) and 4 to 5 p.m. are the best times for cold calling. It’s said the worst time is during the 12 – 1 p.m. lunch period.

Change your workspace: The one advantage of not having a job is that  you are free to look for a job from wherever you want.   Working is working, whether you do it from your backyard, a cafe patio, or a park (as long as you can concentrate).  There’s no need to stay alone in your home office when you can carry out your search in the shade of a patio umbrella.   Working with people around can be energizing.

Perfect your BBQ-friendly story: This is the season for backyard networking, but to be effective, be subtle and upbeat. You’ll be squeezed out of the BBQ circle if you are seen as pushy and/or desperate.

Sure, mention the type of work you’re seeking, but keep the talk positive. Focus on what’s interesting about this time in your life (volunteering, doing research, networking), not what’s getting you down.   People help those who are up, downers — not so much.

Daydream:  When soaking in the sun, cycling or walking, put this question to yourself, “What’s one thing I could do differently?” This is a great question to spark your creative thinking.   Recruiters at each of The Bagg Group divisions (Bagg Professional, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg Managed Resources, Bagg @ Your Service, and Turn Key Staffing Solutions) can confirm first-hand that when candidates do one small thing differently, a positive domino effect takes over.


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