Well, it’s Groundhog Day, again.” - Bill Murray (as Phil), Groundhog Day
There are still many of us who celebrate today as the day Punxsutawney Phil pops up out of the ground, takes a look around, and predicts how the rest of the season is going to go, weather-wise. (Okay, he’s merely taken out of his cage and “whispers” to his top hatted-handlers, but do you expect him to come out when surrounded by thousands of people up on Gobbler’s Knob?)
But consider this, what if the little fella could predict what the freelance job market will look like for the next six weeks? It’d be a far more interesting forecast, don’t you think?
Well, we actually think he does (in a way).
Let’s look at last year: we had wretched snowstorms all across North America. When the bad weather blows in, the freeways close, the trains close, and, yes, offices and agencies close. And closed offices, we don’t need to tell you, are never a freelancer’s friend.
Which is why we were hoping for a little sunnier a prediction this year.
And why we were up this morning at 7:25 a.m EST to watch Punxsutawney Phil predict the job market. Er, weather. And yes, even though there are many groundhogs out there working the day, we opted to go with Phil. Sometimes you have to go with the favorite.
Six more weeks of winter...
Now before you throw in the towel and try to hibernate for the next six weeks, here are a couple things to remember:
- According to the National Climatic Data Center, weather-predicting groundhogs have an overall prediction accuracy rate of about 39%
- Punxsutawney Phil is really just an oversized squirrel
But, just in case the critter is actually correct, here are some ideas to keep the creative fires stoked for the long winter to come:
- Now is the time to check in with everyone who gives you work (including Vitamin T and Aquent) to make sure they KNOW you’re available
- Expand your options. Connect with new people for work. Use LinkedIn and local networking groups to make sure you’re reaching more opportunities.
- Make sure you're set up to work remotely (a snowy day can shorten your commute considerably, but only if you’ve got what you need at home)
- Spend your downtime cleaning up your portfolio and updating your resume. It’s never too early (or too late) to make sure your work is ready to get you MORE work.
And if you’re looking for a second opinion (maybe you think groundhogs are shifty), you can do always do what the Alaskans do when trying to predict weather: ask a marmot.