Why January is the Best Month to Seek Work

2022, Career Guidance

Yes, 2022 has begun in a not dissimilar fashion to 2021, with a new COVID variant sweeping through the nation. But there is cause for optimism. The Omicron variant is not appearing to be as debilitating as the previous strains and is passing quicker. With 90% of the population vaccinated and now many of us having had the booster, we seem to be shifting to a new reality with COVID – and getting back to a degree of normality that we have been denied for almost two years. January is often seen as a line in the sand – new horizons ahead – the start of a new year universally ushers in a feeling of optimism and new beginnings. Mentally and emotionally, it feels right to start searching for a new opportunity. 

Before you dive headlong into the burgeoning job market, take five and consider what it is you actually want. Many job seekers start their searches by asking, “Which companies are hiring?” It is a valid question, but first, consider where specifically you might want to work. Some job openings are never advertised, and by applying to a company that interests you even before you know of an opening there, you have given yourself an edge. For example, if you are a graphic designer who loves cycling, think about whether there’s a nearby cycling or sporting goods company that might be hiring design staff. Demonstrating a passion for a field or industry will make you stand out.

January is possibly the best time to dust off your resume and seek new work challenges

Do not limit yourself to working in your geographical area. And do not assume the job location listed is the only place you can do the work. As we have discussed in our previous blog, working from home has become the new normal – it is not the exception. More and more companies offer home working as a viable and efficient alternative to the traditional centralised office model. Job websites often require that companies list a location for each position, but if appropriate to the needs of the position, companies that have adopted flexible work styles may be open to hiring the right person wherever he or she is. Look for forward-thinking employers and be ready to demonstrate that you can be dynamic and productive anywhere.

As people are still on holiday, you have a slightly more open field where the competition lessens due to the fact that many of your competitors will drop out of the race due to their mistaken belief that employers do not hire during the holidays. In fact, hiring managers may have more time to talk than normal. Throughout the year, many hiring managers who just do not have the time to talk or network with you often find that their schedules are slow. With their employees off on vacation and others on travel, hiring managers may have more time to talk by phone or even squeeze in a meeting with you this January. 

It is also a truism that the holidays present a different twist on the job search. While hiring may slow, networking opportunities increase. You can gain visibility and add to your list of network contacts. Your challenge is to understand and act on these opportunities that the holiday season brings. If you have a LinkedIn profile, it is quite possible you tend to just leave it and hope it will generate interest in you. But just like any social media site, you get out of it what you put in – start posting articles and links pertaining to the role you want to move into. You will be a bigger fish in a smaller pond this time of year and may just hook a dream job. 

So, use this quiet time in January to get a jump on the competition, start right away. Know where you want to be, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, contact recruiters, visit job boards and get out and network. In a few weeks or months, there will be considerably more people to go up against in the interview process. Good luck!

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