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When is the best time to look for a new job?

Published on Saturday, 14 Mar 2015
Kimmie Chan

There is no definitive best time to look for a job. Nowadays, companies have different cycles for bonus payouts and merit increases; some may follow the calendar year, some the company fiscal year, and some may split their bonus or commission scheme to avoid large turnover at one go.

Employers looking to hire may start the recruitment process before or around holiday seasons such as Christmas, Lunar New Year or Easter.

Talent is in short supply at all times. Therefore, the best time to start a job search is when you are the most ready. Often, that time is when you are the most at ease in your current job.

By the time you start to dislike or see limitations in your job - such as new management coming on board, company restructuring, finding your role repetitive or seeing yourself as underpaid - job searching may have become a more stressful process. In those situations, people tend to jump into decisions and land in a job that may not be ideal.

Job searching can be a long journey, taking months or even a year waiting for the right opportunity to arise - not to mention the length and complexity of the interviewing process.

The job-searching journey can be painful for candidates who have not been keeping themselves well equipped and ready to take on the challenge - especially for senior executives, who already have a certain level of tangible and intangible expectations of their next steps. It is essential to always keep abreast of what is going on in the market, to maintain close contact with a trusted recruitment partner in your industry, and most importantly, to understand your reasons for considering a job change in the first place.

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