When To Start Finding A New Job

Is There A Perfect Time Of Year To Start Finding a New Job?

29 November 2016



Is there a perfect time of year to start finding a new job?

During autumn and leading into winter, when the weather starts to become a bit more dramatic, attention turns to Christmas and everyone gets excited about the John Lewis advert, one of the most common phrases that recruiters hear is:

“I think I’ll wait until January before thinking about a new job.”

It got me thinking.

  • Is there such a thing as the perfect time of year to start looking for a new job?
  • Does waiting until January help or hinder you?

To answer this, I considered two angles – personal and external.


Starting your job search can be a massive life choice for both you and those close to you. When thinking about timing, a good place to start is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Consider these points and how they relate to you and those around you.

  • Physiological. Does the timing of your job search impact any plans to move house or start a family?
  • Safety. Changing jobs will often – for good or bad – change your financial situation. Does your job become more or less secure and how does it impact on long-term savings, insurance and health?
  • Love & belonging. Will changing jobs involve relocation, moving your family away from their friends and family? Something else to consider is your work colleagues – are you close to them, and will working with a new team affect your enjoyment of work?
  • Esteem. The need to feel respected is a huge part of our psyche, and work is the main way that we try and enable this. You should consider whether the timing of a job change will help or hinder this. What stage of your career are you in?
  • Self-actualisation. Is your job search timed to meet your full potential or could it hinder your career progress?


Political, Economic, Social, and Technological (PEST) factors should also be looked at. Although largely out of your control, an understanding of how they impact your sector can help you time your job search to either take advantage of external factors or avoid something that may hinder it (or damage your career progression).

  • Political. Between referendums, general elections and elections in other parts of the world, the UK political landscape has never been more active. You should be able to appreciate how the role of government intervenes in and impacts on the economy.
  • Economics. This is tied very closely to political factors. A broad understanding of interest rates, exchange rates, inflation and markets is crucial and should be considered before you consider a job search.
  • Social. In this scenario, you should consider what demand exists in the market that your business and role operates. Is this likely to change? Consider the behaviour of the general population. When are peak and fallow times for job hunters?  
  • Technological. Is your role and sector influenced by developments in relevant technology? How does it affect supply & demand and the type of work that you do?

You could take this further and look at Legal & Environmental factors – although these could be both included in PEST.


  • Is there such a thing as the perfect time of year to start looking for a new job?

Yes – but it should be based on fact and not your gut feeling. Consider all of the available information.

  • Does waiting until January help or hinder you?

It is more likely to hinder you due to the increased job search activity of the population come January.

Even if you are just thinking about changing jobs, then get in touch with one of our recruitment specialists for a coffee.

Written By Billy McDiarmid


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