With the New Year, many people make resolutions to improve their lives. One way to do that may be to find a new job.

First, you will want to identify why you are searching for a new job, as it will impact what you are looking for.

You Want Something Better

Even if you have a good job, there is always room for improvement. Ask yourself if you are happy with your current role, your commute, your workplace environment, your compensation, and your benefits. Would you be happier were any of these factors to improve? If so, it could be time to look for something new.

Your Skills Have Improved

Through training, education, and certification, your skills change over the course of your career. If you have recently finished an education or certification program, or if you have added a skill to your resume through the course of your work, it may be a good time to look for a job that incorporates your improved skill set.

You Want a Big Change

Some job seekers look to make a big change, such as moving into a more senior role or changing their career or industry. Keep in mind that these big changes are the toughest searches you can undertake.  Companies typically hire individuals based on past performances instead of what candidates believe they can accomplish.  You will want to identify skills you already have that are transferable to the new area to determine if you should make the change now.

You Are Concerned about Company Changes

Companies change every day, but some changes are more significant than others. Whenever there is a merger, acquisition, or other structural upheaval within the company you work for, there is always the possibility that it could be accompanied by a round of layoffs or downsizing whole departments. Even if you are completely satisfied with your job, rumors of company structural changes are a good reason to begin a job search, just in case.

You Want to See What is Out There

Even if you are not actively looking for a new position, it is a good idea to have a passive job search going on in the background. By constantly keeping yourself open to new opportunities, you can gain bargaining power in your current position, and you might even find something better in the process. It is best to use a recruiter while conducting a passive job search so that you do not have to spend your valuable time looking on various job boards.

Now that you have determined why you want to make the change, you should be aware of timing.  While any time can be a good time to start a job search, certain times can be better than others.

Company Budget Cycle

Most companies will hire in alignment with their budget cycle. Typically, the first and last quarters in a budget cycle see the most hiring, either because the department is trying to use the money it has before the year ends or because it has been approved for more money in the coming year. Be aware that while many companies use the calendar year as their budgetary year, some companies start their first quarters in months other than January.

Length of Hiring Process

Remember that you will need to give the hiring process itself time as well. It can take anywhere from one to three months to secure a position. That timeframe is even longer for a senior-level role—possibly three to four months—because the approval process is more involved and because there are simply fewer of those positions available.  Be sure to keep this in mind if your job change is time-sensitive — for example, you are planning to move to a new city, but want to have a new job secured before you go, or you are aware of a pending layoff, reduction in force, etc.

Ultimately, the right time to begin your job search is any time. Brush up your resume, then email our recruiters at [email protected] to get started right away.

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