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3 reasons why you should look for a new job before the new year

Published 21st Oct 2022

There’s been plenty in the news and on social media recently around the inconsistency of job vacancy numbers in the UK. 

One minute we’re being told there’s a never-seen-before volume of jobs available, the next we are hearing that a weakened labour market and pending recession has put a pause on recruitment efforts.

From a recruitment company perspective, one thing McCarthy is well aware of is that the number of vacancies in our key sectors now are far greater than a few years ago. In June to August this year, the total number of UK job vacancies was 470,000, which is an incredible 59% above the January to March 2020 pre-pandemic level.

So, if you are currently considering looking for a new role, now is a great time to do so. The number of jobs available in sectors such as retail, HR, finance, marketing, logistics and hospitality are high – despite the ongoing talent shortage.

There’s no time like the present to look for a new role, and if you’re wondering whether to get started with your job search now or wait until the new year, here we look at three key reasons why pre-January is the best time to secure a new position.

There is more competition in January

Along with ‘new year, new me’ comes ‘new year, new job’ for so many people as part of their new year’s resolutions. Understandably, if you’ve been considering looking for a new role for a while, a new year is a brilliant time to make a list of priorities and aims for the year ahead, including finding your next career-related challenge.

With that being said, a lot of people tend to have the same idea in January, which makes the competition pretty steep. If more candidates are applying for the types of roles you are interested in, there’s even more pressure for your CV and application to stand out against your fellow applicants.

Get ahead of the surge by looking for a new job before the end of the new year. By the time you’ve applied, spoken to a recruiter or hiring manager, interviewed, left your current role and started your new one, it’ll be January before you know it. You’ll be settled into your new workplace before the expected job application rise even begins.

December is the perfect time to start a new role

There are two reasons why December is such a brilliant month to start a new job. Firstly, if you are in a client-facing role, it’s the perfect opportunity to get involved with your team’s social and networking events. End-of-year celebrations, Christmas parties and everything in between can be a great opportunity to meet new people you’ll be working with in a relaxed environment and get to know them before the Christmas season buzz wears off.

On the other hand, some businesses can be quite quiet in December which means you’ve got the time and space to get your head down and focus on your onboarding and training. By doing this, come January, you’ll be well on your way to feeling settled in your new role and have a good idea of what you should be doing, and how you should be doing it.

Plus, being one of thousands applying for jobs over the Christmas break won’t exactly help you stand out – so it’s best to get in there early and actually start your new role in December, as opposed to looking for one when everyone else has the same idea.

Hiring managers are available

The most popular periods during the year for employees to take annual leave tends to be during school holidays in February, April and the summer, September (post-summer holidays), and Christmas time. With the festive season on the horizon, a lot of people tend to wind down towards the end of the year and take time off work to enjoy the festivities. 

As a result, January tends to be the time when people are gearing themselves back up to get into the swing of things with work again, and realigning themselves to focus on budgets, targets and strategies for the year ahead.

This is why the October and November period – post-September and pre-December holidays – is the ideal time for candidates to apply for jobs and show their interest in organisations they’d like to work for. Hiring managers are more likely to be in the office, thus responses to job adverts and enquiries are more likely to be picked up.

Get in touch for career and job application advice

If you’re considering finding a new job before the end of the year and want some advice on how best to stand out against your competition during the recruitment process, the McCarthy team can help.

Browse our latest jobs or view our candidate advice here.

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