The Never-Ending Winter: How Weather Affects Your Job Search
By Melissa Ripp
Marketing Coordinator, Drake & Company Staffing Specialists
If the television series Game of Thrones was set in the Midwest, its tagline wouldn’t be “Winter is Coming”, but “Winter is Staying.”
Here in Madison, we’ve had an unprecedented number of Winter Storm Warnings and Wind Chill Advisories, and we’re honestly wondering if all of our children will have to stay in school through the end of June just to make up all of the snow and extreme cold days they’ve had. In this last week of February, the Polar Vortex has once again graced us with its presence, and we’ll have temperatures in the negative digits. Again.
This weather can have an adverse effect on a lot of things—our commutes, our temperaments, and more—and if you’re looking for work, getting the gumption to stay focused and positive during the winter months can seem downright impossible. However, just as winter will turn into spring, your job search can experience a thaw as well—especially when you keep the following items in mind:
Anyone who’s been actively searching for a job will tell you that it’s a difficult process—and to that end, it’s simply not enough to apply to positions on job boards. Dig into your network, whether it’s in person, via phone or email, or on social media (see below). Is there a career move you’re looking to make or a person in your network who works at the very company you’re hoping to get into? Depending on how well you know the person, give them a call or send them an email. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee in exchange for a bit of advice.
Want a job at a specific organization or company? Don’t wait to see a listing pop up on CareerBuilder or Monster—go directly to a company’s website instead. If you’re searching for jobs in a specific city, or a certain industry, there are plenty of niche sites that cater to the jobs you’re looking for.
In short, don’t be afraid to stray away from the larger job sites. Believe it or not, there are plenty of companies that don’t list all of their available jobs on these platforms, and some don’t advertise them at all. Here at Drake, we have over 40 positions our consultants are working on filling, but we only advertise a fraction of those on Monster, CareerBuilder, or Indeed. That’s why we always direct applicants to our website, where all of our available jobs are listed.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become second nature for many of us to keep in contact with friends and family, connect on a professional level with our peers, and share interesting content. So, why not use these tools to aid you in your job search?
- On Facebook, “like” companies that you’re interested in working for. This way, any updates they post will potentially show up on your newsfeed, and more companies of all sizes and industries are using social media platforms to spread the word about job opportunities. Also, if there are staffing companies in your area, follow them as well. Many of these companies also post temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities.
- Twitter gives job seekers a great opportunity to not only follow and network with leaders in the industry they’re looking to get into, but also to become a “thought leader” in your field. This Forbes article by Susan Adams has solid advice for how to best use Twitter to your job-searching advantage: essentially using Twitter as a professional “online business card”, following and interacting with people and institutions who you admire, creating content by tweeting out thoughts and observations relevant to your industry, and connecting with potential mentors.
- Using your personal network is one of the strongest ways to land a new position, so take a look at your LinkedIn connections and profile. This Huffington Post article focuses on using LinkedIn to be found, to find job opportunities, and to locate relevant information to your industry.
Be Active (and Get Away from the Computer)
If your job search is getting a little overwhelming, don’t be afraid to take breaks while still keeping your eye on the prize. One of the best ways to do this is by volunteering. As Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, MRW, writes in this Glassdoor blog, “While volunteering is about being charitable with your time and energy, it is also an opportunity to receive.” If you’re open to possibilities, you just might find a few contacts that would be more than happy to help you land a great position.
Spring is coming. The days will get longer, that dingy snow will melt, and your job search will become more productive.
Melissa Ripp is the Marketing Coordinator at Drake & Company, a staffing firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. Drake & Company specializes in temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire administrative, clerical, and legal placements. For 36 years, Drake has reached beyond skills and qualifications to match candidate personalities with a company’s culture. You can find Melissa on Google+, and you can find Drake & Company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.