New Year, New Job? Job Hunting in January

New Year, New Job? Job Hunting in January

'Tis the season to make new resolutions and start off the year on the right foot. Whether you aim to get a better paying job this year or you want to get off unemployment, now is the time to act. The beginning of the new year is an ideal time to commence a job hunt.

Why Now?

You could choose to find work at any time of the year. But there are distinct advantages to doing so in January.

You Have More Motivation

When a new year begins, it's easy to motivate yourself to do things. Just think of the concept of new year resolutions. Why do people wait until January 1st to say their resolutions and get to work on bettering themselves?

Although there's nothing about the month of January that makes it easier to lose weight or quit smoking, there's something to be said for starting a new chapter in life. And the end of a year feels like as good of a time to start anew as ever. People often feel motivated to change their life as soon as the new year commences.

You can use this momentum to your advantage. If you were unmotivated to find a better job last year, make a resolution to search for one this year. Take some time to think about your career goals and your current situation. If you don't have a job, consider the way in which you handle the job search. Can you dedicate more time to it? Are there any courses you can take to make you a more appealing candidate?

Use the new year as a time of reflection and resolution. Then, you may find it easier to stay motivated during the job hunt.

Budgets are New

While January only marks the halfway point of the school year, it marks the start of a new fiscal year. For this reason, budgets are fresh and new. Human resources knows how much money they have to spend on new hires, and they may even be more generous than usual.

Before a budget is approved, management is in limbo. The company may hesitate to hire someone because of financial uncertainty. When you apply for jobs in January, you don't have that issue. Instead of putting off hires as they wait to see the new budget, management can move forward with hiring for new positions. There's more peace of mind and less worry about having enough money in the budget for raises or other end of year expenses.

Get a Jump on the Competition

You could argue that the holiday season is the busiest time of year. Between holiday parties, family get-togethers, and present shopping, there's not much time for job searching. People tend to put the job search on hold during the holiday season.

Even if you took a week or two of the holiday season to relax, you could get a jump on the competition by applying for jobs in early January. While everyone else recovers from the hectic holidays, you can get busy filling out job applications and going to interviews.

In addition to having less competition, you may also notice more job availability. Typically, unhappy employees wait to leave their positions until they see their bonuses or find out if they will receive promotions. To make sure you're one of the first to find out about these openings, you can start your job hunt early.

Bigger Workload After the Holidays

In many industries, the workload slows down for the holidays. From Thanksgiving until January 2nd, the pace is manageable. If a company loses an employee before the holiday season, they might not be eager to rehire.

But then, the workload picks up. As soon as the holidays are over, some companies scramble to find suitable employees to fill positions. To improve your chances of finding work, you should be ready to apply for those jobs. The hiring process may be swifter than usual as employers struggle to meet their increased workload.

Tips for Finding Jobs in January

Finding work in January is similar to finding a job any other time of year, but you do have a few advantages. To make use of those advantages, follow these tips:

Be Ready

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure you have everything you need. Create a few different resumes for the various positions you plan to apply for. If you already have resumes ready, look them over and update them as needed. Additionally, have a cover letter ready to go.

In the spirit of positivity, have an interview outfit ready. If you do get an offer for an interview, you won't need to rush out in search of the perfect outfit. Instead, you can focus on preparing yourself.

Spend Time Networking

The new year is the perfect time to rekindle old connections. And the more connections you have, the better your chances of obtaining a new position. If you have a LinkedIn account, check out your contacts. Send a few messages wishing long-lost friends or former colleagues messages wishing them a happy new year. You may find out about a job opening through your networking.

If you made other resolutions for the new year, use those as a way to network. For instance, you may have the resolution to exercise more. When you're at the gym, be friendly and connect with people.


If you made a resolution to help others this year, consider volunteering. Doing so makes you a more appealing candidate, and it also doubles as a networking experience. When applicable, volunteer for organizations related to your desired industry.

Know Where to Look

Perhaps the most important tip for the new year is to have the right job search resources. If you've only been using one platform to find work, expand your search efforts.

When you have access to an extensive network of jobs, you vastly improve your chances of finding work. It's a great way to kick off a new, more prosperous year.

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