Two weeks ago, one of my coaching clients sent me an email with the subject “Bad news”. I was expecting really bad news. He sent me an article from somebody who mentioned that in summer in Switzerland, everyone is on vacation. My client feared that this could have a highly negative impact on his job search activities.
This is why I am writing this blog post. To once and for all get that nonsense out of the way that summer is a bad time to do business or find a job in Switzerland.
Recruitment in Switzerland in the Summer of 2009
It was beginning of July in 2009 and I was just about to leave for a 3-week vacation to Miami.
My recruitment numbers for that year were not at the level they should be by then and I only reached about 60% of my year to date business goal. Still, I was very excited about my trip and I handed over my open work and todo list to my deputy.
It was a lot to hand over because there had been so much going on the past weeks before my vacation but no business was closed.
I left and even though I explicitly told everyone in the office that I am only to be called when either the office is literally burning or something equally dramatic, my phone rang in the second week of my vacation and my deputy was on the other end. It was a pleasant surprise because he mentioned that I had just achieved 160% of my year to date goal because a majority of the open deals were closed.
Not Everybody is on Vacation
I think my example above shows that not everybody is gone in summer and the people who are actually in the office, have time to get things done. Luckily for me that meant moving forward in terms of my business goals and making my vacation smile even bigger.
Many people see the summer holidays as a way to get up to speed again with things that should have been done a long time ago. Also, not so many people are on holidays for 2 months in summer.
You Are Not Selling Big Corporate Deals
If you do things right, you are not dealing with HR and recruiters in the organizations for the majority of your time but actually build meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals at your target companies.
If the only thing you are doing is applying for jobs in Switzerland, you will suffer through summer with even less results than during the rest of the year.
However, if you follow the most effective path through the hidden job market, you can meet people on their day off for coffee or lunch. That’s even better so they don’t have to rush to the next meeting after 15 minutes.
Remember that you are making connections with people and not dealing with corporate administrators.
The Worst Time of the Year
The worst time of the year I have found so far to do business in recruitment or find a job in Switzerland is from mid of December until mid of January. The rest of the year is pretty equally great if you don’t let others pick you and if you pick yourself.
Increasing Your Level of Activity
If you are thinking to relax in summer from June until September because everybody is away, you are making a huge mistake.
To get access to people in summer, you may have to increase your level of activity because you can reach fewer people. However, the people you reach are much easier to call or to meet because it’s a more relaxed period of the year.
Plus you can get a nice tan if you have lunch and coffee outside at Starbucks or a nice restaurant five times a week to expand and strengthen your network.
Because I always did most of my recruitment business through relationships at the lunch table or over coffee, I was many times so tan in September that people thought I was on holidays for 3 months. I’d call that a nice side effect.
Meeting People During Their Vacation
One of my coaching clients recently told me about a major influencer in his industry he met in Switzerland for lunch. The interesting part? It was at the influencer’s day off. They had a 2-hour lunch and an incredibly effective communication from which a meaningful and real relationship was created.
Not everybody in Switzerland is going to the Bahamas or the Maldives for two months in summer. You can meet people at their day off if you do it right.
Telling people they can’t get a job in Switzerland in summer is nonsense and it does not help making people believe so. I hope you realize that your chances are equal during every season of the year and that there are some real benefits of the summer slowness.
Think about what you can achieve if everybody else says “I’m not doing much in summer for my job search in Switzerland, it’s a slow season”. That’s when you can stand out and get ahead of your competition much easier.
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