Why January and February are Great Months for Job Searching
The beginning of the year, particularly January and February, is a great time for getting hired in most industries. In fact, it is probably the best time to look for jobs all year in most industries. January and February are the months of the year to look for a job. Hiring managers have received new hiring budgets for the year, the majority of workers are back from holiday vacation, and companies also often have a backlog of hiring that they have been meaning to do but had paused during the holiday season. For these reasons, January and February are excellent months for job searching.
The New Year is a time for people to reflect on their decisions and making changes to their lives. The applications increase year on year – people are trying to make a change and do something different. I think it crystallises in people’s minds that they want something new. The New Year is the perfect opportunity to make the resolution to go after your dream job. The excitement of Christmas has died down, A semblance of post-COVID normality is beginning to return, and both employees and employers alike are looking to start the New Year afresh, and with renewed enthusiasm, perhaps this year more than ever. So, set yourself a goal and a timescale and go for it.
Many resolutions fail because they demand we make huge changes to our lifestyles. Cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking, going to the gym three times a week, losing a kilo or two – all of these push you to make sacrifices or painful choices every day, something that is hard to sustain.
Getting a new job, however, demands a small commitment of time over a few weeks to get the ball rolling. You do not have to cut back on anything or change anything about yourself. And, if you do it right, you can happily give it up in a month or two. It is just a question of a little thought, research and preparation. In other words, it is the kind of resolution that everyone can make and keep.
In the run-up to Christmas, we are all busy socially and at work. January and February, however, offer some downtime and, if you are like many of us, a few more nights in as you cope with the cost of Christmas. From a career perspective, this gives you the most precious of commodities: time. Time to do your resume. Time to research career options and, with a quiet period at work, time to go to interviews.
January and February are also a strong hiring period in the first quarter of the year as the demand of talent usually outweighs the supply of qualified candidates in larger companies, and budgets are ready to be spent. This ‘peak’ hiring season is a time when people are unlikely to be off on holiday, having had time off over Christmas, so the majority of people are in the office who can make decisions on new recruits.
And budgets, of course. The salary is an important consideration when hiring and January/February means new budgets and new budgets mean more money for departments to spend. Making contact right at the start of these cycles (i.e., now!) will give you a better chance of getting in there.
So, the bottom line is “yes”. Yes – January and February are a good time for job searching. This is when everyone is in the right mindset for new beginnings; it is when we all seem to have the motivation to do something with our lives. But nothing is ever really just simple, is it?
In truth, you do not have to wait until January. Do not wait for the year to end to make changes. Any month of the year is good, especially if COVID has upended your career plans., and you need a job fast. We are just coming back to a degree of normality, and there are many more job opportunities out there, and a lot more choice.
Competitive wise, it can mean more applications, but the best candidates will stand out, whatever month that is. Do not rush at application forms – look at what the company is looking for in that candidate.