I always feel bad when I see questions in my stats that show someone was looking for an answer I never specifically wrote about. Just now I found “What month is best for job search?” I wish I could pop out of the screen, find them, and give them an answer in the moment as to when is the best time for a job search. But we all know that would be impossible – and kind of scary.
So in case the person ever comes back who wants to know the very best month to look for a job – or in case anyone else has that same burning job search timing question, here’s my answer: The best time to look for a job is…drum roll…when you need one!
Seriously. That’s the answer. The best month to look for a job is whenever you feel the need.
Timing Your Job Search
Through the years I’ve heard people try to apply timing strategy to their job hunt: “Never look in December because of the holidays!” “Never look in January because people are just getting back from the holidays!” or “Look in January because it’s the beginning of the job hunt season.” (I love that. Do we also need a license like in hunting season?) “Never look in June when everyone is graduating!” “Never look in August because people are on vacation!” “Never look any time when there might be anything at all going on to decrease the number of jobs or increase the job seekers!”
Yeah…that’ll work. Simply look for the absolutely most perfect job search moment, jump in with full determination and gusto, and then land that job while that absolutely most perfect opening in time & space still exists. We all know how quickly job hunts go!
So what is the truth…at least as I see it?
The truth is a job search is not linear. You don’t just start and stop depending on optimal timing. Your job – the one that YOU are going to wind up with – can be out there at any given time, no matter what else is happening in the world.
I’ve gotten jobs during slow times of the year and holiday periods and, yes, even recessions. Jobs happen all the time – even if it doesn’t always feel that way. And trying to time it won’t help. In fact…if everyone else thinks it’s NOT the time to look for a job, then maybe you have an even better chance of getting one of the jobs that are available. Openings and new jobs happen all the time – even in tough times. You can’t know when YOUR JOB is going to be there.
So my best advice for timing your job hunt is:
- Start now or as soon as you feel ready.
- Network as soon as possible – and probably start your research and informational meetings even sooner. (Holiday parties or August BBQs could be a great time!)
- Keep the search going – even if you have some nibbles.
- Keep the networking going. (It’s not just about now. Look to build mutually supportive life-long relationships where possible.)
- Don’t stop until you get there.
Job search is not just about sending a resume and getting an interview. Job search is something you start preparing for in advance and for which you network your entire career. So what month is the best month for a job search? Since in one way or another we may always be involved in some aspect of our future job search, when it comes to your career, the answer is always this month!
But at the very least, don’t try to time it. If you need a job, look now. Statistics about best times to look leave out an important factor: they are simply averages or means or whatever statistical measure is being used. They have nothing to do with that one job YOU are going to get. Plus, jobs don’t usually happen in one day.
As I said, I’ve gotten jobs at any time if the year. So if you’re waiting in a job you hate for the PERFECT time to start looking, you might as well begin preparing to find your new job right this minute. (And part of preparing is taking the time to know what you really want and what you’ll need to get you there. More on that soon.)
More about the best timing for job search:
Advice for job seekers during the holidays (a Keppie Careers post)
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, Career Nook and on Google+.