By Russell Adams - Director, AdMore Recruitment
Tradition suggests that January is one of the best and busiest times to start your job search and looking at my phone log and inbox this week, that certainly appears to be the case. But is January, potentially the busiest and most competitive month, really the best time to start your job search?
Arguably why would you want to be job hunting when the candidate flow is at its peak? It is all too easy to find times in the year when not to search though. What about December when people perceive the market to be quiet or August, when everyone is on holiday ? Indeed any time when there will be fewer vacancies and more candidates. You can read more about our thouhts here
We cannot deny that activity does vary from month to month due to some of these factors however I don’t believe it has anywhere near the perceived impact.
A phone call at 8.30am on Monday reiterated to me the incorrect perception candidates have, when I was asked about the state of the 2013 market and what new opportunities had come up on the first Monday of a new year! In the first week of January the market isn’t suddenly flooded with new vacancies and, let’s face it, in the current market we are rarely talking about brand new roles so the labour market is reliant on people resigning to start the musical chairs.
The job market and your job search are not linear. Simply waiting for the absolutely perfect job search ‘moment’ then jumping in with full determination and gusto before landing that dream job rarely happens.
So when is the best time to look for a new role?
Many would argue the best time to look for a position is when you need one. I don’t totally agree with this statement – actually the best time to look for another position is when you are happy at work but anticipating that in the future, your career aspirations will not be met. I think that good candidates manage their careers proactively, which is not about always looking out for the next role, but making sure that, both internally and externally, you are spending enough time on developing and building your network. Which businesses you would like to work for, what research can you undertake on that business, how can you network with existing employees? Starting your job search ISN’T SIMPLY SENDING OUT YOUR CV, it is about planning your job search and looking at what activity to undertake - Our How to create a successful campaign offers some handy pointers
Job searching is a time-intensive activity and it is important that individuals allow enough time. Launching your job search when you are about to move house or are in the midst of a renovation project for instance, isn’t the best idea. Your job search will take time and commitment so you need to make sure it is the right time for you.
It may be common sense however the reality is, that it is about you and your own situation. It is not just about timing and if timing becomes your only rationale you will more than likely not find the right opportunity. So don’t let the market dictate but take control and enter the job market when it is the right time for you.
What you should however start doing this month is thinking about your job search, your career management and those activities that will support your career development in the coming months.
Taking the time to invest in this strategy before you really need a new job takes the pressure off and allows total objectivity. Even more importantly, you won’t be seen by prospective employers as really needing a new job and from that perspective; you will be in a position of relative power.
My advice is to be process-centric rather than results- centric. In doing this, you may just discover that now really isn’t the right time for you to send out that CV.