Even though the calendar clearly shows that Fall is not yet here, those of us in the US think that it IS, partly because most schools are now back in session and partly because the Labor Day holiday is behind us. To us, these are our indicators of the arrival of Fall (along with the stores all suddenly carrying hardy chrysanthemums).
Beyond that, though, there is a specific behavior that often comes approximately when September rolls around, whether in the US or even elsewhere in the world. This is the “back to work, summer holidays are over” behavior. Thus, all of a sudden, the e-mails are flying, the phones are ringing, and people are desperately trying to reach everyone they know.
Consultants seem to be contacting their peers to see who knows LIMS/ELN project managers and business analysts, services companies are trying to beef-up their staffing, and customers are starting to get their purchase orders (POs) in place in order to get their projects started before everyone gets snapped-up. I get the impression that this will be one of those seasons where anyone who doesn’t get their POs in place early will find that there’s no-one available, once things are ready. When this happens, we’ll start suddenly seeing sad posts in discussion groups about how there’s such a shortage of people in the industry. However, the issue is probably more that, if these projects wait a bit or find ways to be flexible, they’ll find that some resources will free-up for them, after all.
On the other hand, we have also seen the occasional season that starts with a bang but where there’s some kind of shift (e.g., an economy shift) and most things fall through, leaving many people sitting around wondering what happened and why they’re not busy, after all. It’s always a possibility.
Just to pass this along to those who are currently trying to plan these things, I’ve seen a sudden uptick starting in the last few days of August. When I say “sudden” I mean that I probably got more e-mails and calls within just those few days than over the course of the past months. While not everyone’s schedules and upticks look the same, I’m merely passing this along as my own observation. Plan accordingly.