Is January a good time to search for a new job?
There’s a simple answer to this question which is: Yes
However, there’s also a longer answer which is: Yes, and so is February, March, April etc… through to (and including) December
Common belief is that the best time of year to be looking for a new job is after the New Year, when people have resolutions to uphold and the job market kicks off after a lull. ‘New Year, New Career’ is a corny cliché that will be trumpeted by recruiters up and down the land in January. I’d agree that this is definitely a good time to look, but in reality, with the exception of the week either side of Christmas, I don’t believe there’s ever really a bad time to be looking.
There will be some disciplines and industries that have well defined seasonal peaks and troughs, but if you work in a core business support or operational function such as Accounting, Marketing, HR, IT or suchlike, the majority of employers manage to keep you busy all year round, and therefore if you decide to find a new job elsewhere, to immigrate or retire, they’re going to need to replace you fairly quickly.
In a niche market, certain roles will from time to time have unpredictable surges of activity in the job market. For example, if just two or three Chief Legal Cashier vacancies arise in close proximity, this area will likely see a flurry of activity for a few months whilst people move around the industry leaving vacancies behind them. This could happen at any time during the year.
Generally, if you have reached the point where you feel you need to start looking for new opportunities, right then is your best time to start the search, regardless of what month we are in. Your ideal next job can arise at any given time, but if you’re not looking because you’re waiting for a perceived busy period, you might never even know about it. Even better still is to establish contact with an experienced recruiter who knows your specialist area and who can help to identify your next step on the career ladder even before you’ve started to look.