When the best time to look for a new opportunity is – December vs January

Dec 9, 2021

Tomorrow marks the 1st of December which means we’re officially coming towards the end of another weird and wonderful 12 months, as 2021 rather hastily draws to a close.

I’ve always thought of this time of year to be one of the best times to look at the options for a new position – in terms of the market, personal reflection, and planning for the next 12 months ahead (and beyond) – and whilst some will be thinking about whether to bite the bullet & do something about it now, others will prefer to wait until January.

If moving jobs is something you’re considering exploring in the near future but don’t know when to put the wheels in motion, I’ve put together some thoughts on the different reasons for looking at the end of this year vs the start of next…


✔ It’s a candidate market – people are getting multiple interviews and gaining multiple offers

Having CHOICE and being able to look into the detail of what the company offers, what your role will entail, the opportunities for you to progress, how the package stacks up and what the environment you’ll be working in will be like, allows you to consider various options and pick the one you think is best for you.

 ✔ Remuneration & packages are at an all-time high

Engineers in Building Services Design / Data Centres are increasing their basic salary by an average of 15-30% by moving jobs at the moment.

 Not only that, what companies are offering as total compensation is improving, how much ‘richer’ could you be with added benefits of a bonus scheme, car allowance, better pension contributions, private healthcare, tailored working from home options – be it fully remote, 1 day in 4 days WFH, 5 days in the office, an even split – whatever suits you can likely be accommodated somewhere.

  ✔ Good companies are putting together their plans for the New Year, now.

You stay ahead of the game, or you fall behind it. Well run companies are strategic and their recruitment plans are around growth, rather than back-filling a vacancy after someone has handed their notice in in January. Do you want to be joining the ambitious company who have identified a need for you, and will have a plan for how you will develop with them, or do you want to be lured into one that has just had an unexpected tender win that they suddenly don’t have enough resource for, so are looking for a ‘doer’ to fill a gap. 

✖ Too many plates to spin right now

I’ll be honest, as much as I love December, it’s a bloody stressful time of year.

I’m currently trying to find a fancy-dress outfit, a work Christmas party outfit, another outfit for a Christmas ball, I’ve been trying to buy everyone’s Christmas presents whilst they’re still in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales AND it’s still one of the busiest periods of the year for recruitment.

I don’t blame you if you’re struggling to find time to juggle updating your CV alongside your end of year workload, present buying, present wrapping, nights out, catching up with friends, Winter Wonderland, and drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate and/or mulled wine every weekend…

I feel ya.

✖ Don’t know where to start

It’s daunting. Especially on top of all of the above.

Looking for a new job, particularly if it’s something you’ve either never done or not done for a while, can be scary. You don’t know who to speak to, what to expect, who to trust or whether you will be able to find something that ticks the right boxes.

As recruiters, we should be able to give you some good insight into the market, so hopefully this isn’t something you should really have to worry about. You just need to have that initial conversation to open things up.

✖ Things might get better where I am after my EOY review

If they’re any good, your current employer will be making/have made plans for 2022. Maybe your role will change, you’ll get that promotion you’ve been waiting for, you’ll get the pay-rise, or at least you’ll have the chance to speak up about what’s concerning you…


 ✔ New year, new me

 ✔ ‘More’ companies will be hiring (really?!)

 ✔ Take a step back, away from the pressures of your every day and reflect on what you really want to achieve from moving companies

 ✔ Take your time updating your CV over the Christmas break

 ✔ Hiring Managers are back from annual leave

 ✔ Still get your December bonus*

 *if you don’t have to pay it back if you leave within x amount of months

 ✖ Increased candidate competition – more people will use January to look for a new role if it’s something they’re thinking of

 ✖ You’re more likely to sit and ‘wait it out’ where you are currently despite not being happy

 ✖ Time waits for no man/woman – that company that would be PERFECT for you might be hiring now. If you don’t know about it or explore it now, the opportunity may not be around in January

So December vs January job hunting…

The result?

There’s no one size fits all and it will depend on you and your own personal situation.

But whichever you think is best and whenever you feel is right for you, let’s start speaking so you know what your options are and can feel confident and prepared in how to approach your search when the time comes.

Drop me a message, email your CV to [email protected] or give me a call on 01489888499.