It's often thought that January is the best month to look for a new job. January falls at the beginning of the year, just after most corporate budgets have been approved, giving hiring managers and recruiters the go-ahead to fill open positions. January is also commonly the time that companies put into place new initiatives, which often call for new positions. In other words, it's the time of year when there should be plenty of jobs available. However, while this is generally true, there's another month that could be an even better one in which to look for a new job. That month is the one we're in now. And here are three reasons why September might just be the best month to look for a new job.
1. Decision makers are back from the beach—and in upbeat moods.
For recruiters and hiring managers, June, July, and August are typically slow months when it comes to filling open positions. These three months are usually the ones when not only recruiting managers and hiring managers take a good amount of vacation time but their managers do, too. And these managers are often the ones who'll need to sign off on new hires, especially those higher than entry-level professionals. But in September, most professionals are back in the office and working. And when it comes to filling positions, hiring managers and recruiters will be looking to continue where they left off at the end of spring and beginning of summer. In addition, hiring decisions can be made quickly after Labor Day—no waiting for a decision maker to come back from the South of France.
Along with everyone being back at work in September, many professionals will often be in good spirits during the ninth month (especially if they did just come back from the South of France). September, at least until its 21st day, is technically still summer, so the temperature in most parts of the country during the month is extremely pleasant and the days are still relatively long. That is, seasonal affective disorder hasn't kicked in yet, meaning you'll likely come across people who, in general, are much more pleasant to interact with than they might be in the dead of winter—in months like January and February. And chances are you'll be in a better mood, too, making it easier to get into a positive mindset, which is 100 percent necessary when you're looking for a new job.
2. You're in school mode.
Since you grew up going back to school during September, chances are you're habitually in a work mode during the month. That is, your brain has been trained to get back to the books and start to get serious again after a long break (summer), meaning you're more than ready to tackle tough tasks like looking for a new job. Indeed, job searching is anything but easy. It takes time, effort, and resilience. So you want to be at your best when looking for a new job; you want to be in a mindset that's not only positive but also open to learn and ready to work.
Job searching means working on your resume, working on your cover letters, and working on your LinkedIn profile. It means networking. It means talking to a lot of people. It means selling yourself. And it means putting yourself out there. Having a back-to-school mindset will help you when it comes to all of these things.
3. Time is running out for recruiters and hiring managers.
In addition to being the ninth month, September is the last month of the third fiscal quarter of the year (most companies are on calendar year fiscal years). This means that, come September, professionals with annual goals and annual budgets are starting to feel pressured to meet those goals and use those budgets. Once the fourth quarter comes around, beginning in October, many professionals start to push goals and tasks back until the following year.
So, September is a great time to catch that last wave of recruiting before the New Year. If you start your job search in September, with everyone back in the office from vacation, the hiring process can usually move quickly and you could be hired by the beginning of the fourth fiscal quarter. Even starting at the end of September isn't bad; you can be in a new job by the end of October—before everyone starts thinking about Thanksgiving and wrapping things up in December.
A final note
Even though September could be the best month to look for a new job, there really isn't a bad month to look for greener pastures. The beginning of the year, as mentioned, is a time when many firms are hiring. The spring is also a decent time to look for jobs (especially those that might not have been filled during the winter). Summer, while typically slow on the hiring front, could be a great time to build your network and meet with those in your network (think outdoor cafe and rooftop bar season.).
In fact, you should always be on the lookout for job opportunities—even if you're satisfied with your current position. Today, it's easy to passively search for jobs via LinkedIn; all you have to do is make sure you have a complete, updated LinkedIn profile so companies and recruiters can find you. It's also not too difficult to remember to always be networking. Ideally, you want to be constantly meeting new people to connect with and learn from. You never know who might be able to help you down the line when you're in need.
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