Why January Is The Best Month To Look For A Job

Don’t miss your chance!

You might be fresh off the holidays, still recovering from too many sweets and glasses of wine, with little energy for creating a job search plan and sending out custom résumés.

But if you’re stuck in a meaningless, dead-end, miserable job with a boss you can’t stand, you’ll want to take advantage of the best hiring season and get your act together!

The time is NOW.

Yes, it’s generally a job seeker’s market out there with unemployment rates so low, but there are better times of year to look for a new job.

January is the best month to market yourself for your dream job, and the research backs it up. Ziprecruiter.com states that job applications have increased by 20% - 30% in January every year over the past 3 years.

If you’re highly motivated to leave your current job for something better, you don’t want to be left behind.

Why January? Here are 5 reasons why you need to be ready:

1.       New budgets are approved.

For many businesses, January is the start of a new fiscal year. That means budgets are approved, including staffing plans. Any jobs that were previously on hold or deferred now have funding, and that translates into many new job postings flooding the job boards in January.

 2.       Leaders want to move plans ahead.

In the new year, those high-level corporate strategies are brought down to a department level, and leaders are anxious to make a big impression early and get a lot accomplished. Look for leaders to put pressure on Human Resources departments to help them hire the right people on the bus to make things happen.

 3.       Turnover is higher in certain positions.

You’re not the only one thinking of leaving your job right now. Many workers – especially bonus-eligible ones – are doing a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it’s better to take their year-end bonus now and run or hold out for a more uncertain future with golden handcuffs.  Often bonus clauses stipulate that you need to successfully complete the fiscal year before receiving a bonus, so when January 1st hits, dissatisfied and no-longer engaged leaders prepare to make their exit. That leaves room for you. You can either make your case for an internal promotion or fill the shoes of someone who’s left at another company.

 4.       You might be asked to leave.

 The new year is a time for businesses to re-evaluate their departmental structure, individual performance levels and fit, and business needs.  Like it or not, it’s a period of instability for many workers, and you wouldn’t be alone in worrying if your job is going to be next. Fortunately, if you are always in a state of readiness to leave, you’ll take a job loss much less personally, and you’ll be better able to land on your feet.

 5.       You want a clean slate.

January is full of promise. You have the chance put the past year behind you and dream bigger this year. What better way then to reinvent yourself and snatch the job you’ve always wanted?

If finally landing a job you love is what you want, don’t let the others beat you in the resume queue. You deserve to have a break-out career year.

Spend the time now to hone your career marketing materials so you can get your application in early (first applications have a greater chance of being noticed), and then brush up on your interviewing skills so you can win the day when you get the call. You won’t regret being ready for this January rush.


Lisa Petsinis is a certified career coach, Human Resources leader, and career development specialist who works with individuals who want to create a career and life they love. Visit her website to learn more about her signature programs and services, contact her for a consultation, or sign up for her newsletter for even more advice.