I live in Chicago where we’ve had several days where the temperature has ranged from the high 90s to the low 100s. This same weather pattern covers the Midwest and much of the East. And it’s a big problem for everyone, including job seekers.
No one wants to move in weather like this. It makes us cranky and lethargic. I normally start work between 8:30 and 9. Today that wasn’t happening. Even in an air conditioned office I couldn’t get focused and start working. Finally, I went for a 10 minute walk in the heat, which reminded me how good air conditioning feels, and I was able to get to work.
Job seekers need to think about how the heat is affecting them and not let it be an impediment to find work. The first thing I would recommend is to find a cool place to work. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, look for a library or other public facility with internet access. If you have a laptop or tablet, you might spend time at a Starbucks or café. The key point is to stay cool and stay focused on your job search.
This kind of weather also tends to make us impatient and hostile. If you’re networking or interviewing, be aware of your mood and be doubly careful to stay polite and calm. In this weather, it’s good to arrive at an interview early and stay in your car or a building lobby for a few minutes just to gather your thoughts and stay cool. Rushing in hot weather is a sure recipe for a bad interview or network contact.
Finally, hold yourself accountable to get things done. My method is to make a list and check off what I’ve accomplished in a day. The list will keep you focused and give you goals. The easiest thing to do is blame the heat for making us lazy. Give yourself a report card, and be a very tough grader.
The job market isn’t waiting for the temperature to go down. If a company needs an employee, it’s going to hire. People are applying for and getting jobs. If you don’t stay in the game and stay focused, you are almost guaranteeing a longer, more difficult job search. It’s hot and miserable. Find a way to get beyond that ugly reality and stay focused on your number one goal: finding a job.