Can you fill a job or find a job in August?

If you’re with an organization that has a key job to fill, or you’re looking for a new job, you might be thinking “It’s August.  I should wait until September.”

That kind of thinking reflects the modern myth about August:  “Everyone’s on vacation, so nothing will happen.”

Actually, the most popular month for vacation is July, so that’s now behind us. August is the second most-popular month for vacation, but:

  1. Not everyone will be on vacation this month.  In fact, almost everyone will be at work for at least a couple weeks in August.  They have work to do, including filling jobs that they’d prefer to fill sooner rather than later. So if you’re looking, apply and be ready to interview.
  2. Those who will be on vacation – usually for a week, maybe two, rarely longer – are seldom disconnected from their work. For better or worse, almost everyone still checks email at least once a day, and makes time to reply to important and urgent emails or to talk by phone when necessary.  (If you’re reading this while on vacation, you’re Exhibit A.)

  3. Many public school districts start the new school year in late August, so people with kids must be back at work by the third and fourth weeks of the month.  (One reason why July beats August for vacation time.)

  4. Searches for CEO and other senior positions most definitely advance in August.  I’ve led searches where CEO search committees met in August (with everyone on the committee attending, including a board member who left his summer retreat in Maine for 48 hours because he didn’t want to be the only committee member not seeing the candidates), and I’ve had clients extend job offers in August.

Yes, things move slower in August, but they don’t stop. And when the pace picks up in September, new obstacles pop up:  People are traveling to attend conferences, others are taking vacation then instead of in the summer, and urgent work projects make it harder to focus on hiring.

So, if you need to fill a key job, or you’re looking for a job, and it’s August: Get moving! You can do it now!