As 2017 rounds the corner to its end …

  • the scent of pumpkin spice everything is in the air,
  • the holiday season will soon begin in earnest, and
  • people are looking back on the year and contemplating their careers.

The general public – and your average job candidate – would say that if you want to make a career move, you should wait until the start of the new year. But recruiting and hiring experts know better: the truth is that now is an ideal time to begin your job search.

Why now? Several reasons:

  1. If a company has a job opening, they’ll move quickly before the holidays to fill it. This is especially true for critical positions. My colleagues and I have found that more times than not, companies will hire, regardless of the holidays. When an employer has a need, they want to fill it and get the person on board.
  2. You will likely have less competition for jobs. The common sentiment amongst candidates is “I might as well wait until next year; no one has the budget to hire now.” While others sit back and wait, you can seize the day by forging ahead.
  3. Many companies will compensate you for missing out on an end-of-year retention bonus. It’s more common than ever for companies to pay new hires a sign-on bonus to compensate for missing out on a retention bonus from their previous employer. In Information Technology and certain niche industries, a sign-on bonus is practically a given.
  4. CareerBuilder says that full-time, permanent hiring is up from last year. According to a recent article from the employment web site, “In Q3 2017, 44 percent of employers added full-time, permanent headcount while 8 percent decreased headcount, both improvements over the previous year. This positive trend is expected to continue with 43 percent of employers planning to hire new employees in the fourth quarter, up from 34 percent last year. Seven percent expect to reduce staff, down from 9 percent last year, while 47 percent anticipate no change and 3 percent are unsure.”
  5. Preparation is half the battle. Not quite ready to apply for jobs? If you’re in a position where you don’t see yourself staying for three-plus years, now is the time to start doing some groundwork: consider the must haves and nice-to-haves for your next position, and think about how you have made an impact in your current role. Then when you’re attending holiday parties, you’ll be ready for networking conversations. You’ll also be ready should you be contacted by a professional recruiter who wants to take the time to understand your career needs. Get the housekeeping out of the way by preparing now.


Every season has its busy times and important events; don’t wait until your job search is critical to plan for your career move.