Five reasons to start your job hunt before the New Year

As we approach the end of the year, it’s not uncommon to start thinking about what the New Year might bring – including future career prospects. In fact, our recent survey of 5,000 UK workers revealed 53% of respondents said the New Year represents a new start when it comes to work, with almost a quarter (22%) citing they want to kickstart 2024 with a new job

However, what most people don’t think about is when the best time to start your job hunt for the New Year is. 

Our research revealed 51% of those involved in hiring said they want to get the ball rolling now so new starters can hit the ground running in the New Year, and with it taking an average of 33 days from a candidate’s first application to signing on the dotted line (plus your average one-month notice period) it means that the prime time to apply for a January start is during the next fortnight (October 18 – November 1). 

That’s right, job seekers have a two-week window of opportunity to get their CV out there if they want to land a role in time for the New Year. And by our calculation, to start on Wednesday 3rd January, applicants need to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. 

Salary Changes 

Hiring decisions often hang on what budget an organisation has available, which is typically reviewed towards the end of the calendar year, forward-looking into the New Year. 

Why is that important to you as someone applying for a new job? Half of respondents from our survey cited salary as the number one reason they want to start a new job in the New Year, suggesting it’s a good time for you to be able to get the salary you’d like as you move roles.

To find out exactly what you should be earning in your industry, download our comprehensive salary guides. With this information, you’ll have the upper hand in any future salary negotiations . 

Career Development 

While salary is the biggest factor for most looking to leave their current role and start anew, career development was a close second. Whether it’s a new career path or a development of an existing, moving jobs can help achieve that drive and the New Year presents an opportunity to kickstart this. 

Our research found almost half (45%) of respondents only felt “somewhat optimistic” or “not very optimistic” from over a fifth (21%) about their career heading into the New Year, and so it’s unsurprising respondents cited career development as a reason for starting a new job in the New Year.

New Year, New Job: Fresh Start

A new job in January is a common ambition. More than half of survey respondents (53 per cent) said the new year represents a new start, which makes it the perfect time to embark on the next chapter of their career. 

Starting a new role in the New Year enables individuals to hit the ground running, and our results echo this with respondents citing being rested after the holiday break (38%) and having the opportunity to get involved with calendar year planning (30%) as two reasons they wanted to have a fresh start in the New Year. 

Get ahead of the competition

While the prospect of “New Year, New Job” is thought by many, almost half (40%) of respondents said they are waiting until the New Year to apply, with January noted as the best time to applying for new jobs by the majority of our respondents. 

However, our research revealed over half (51%) of Hiring Managers say Autumn is the best time for candidates to apply to roles if they’re looking to start fresh in the New Year. Supporting this, our calculations show that if you apply in the next two weeks (October 18 – November 1), and are successful, you’ll be able to beat the crowds and land your job and start before the others even get applying.   

Full year of benefits 

Aside from salary, employees often look at moving jobs based on the additional benefits an organisation can offer them. This could include private healthcare, holiday, and other benefits including cycle to work scheme or subsidised gym memberships. 

What better time to take advantage of this than the New Year where you’ll get a full year of benefits? Almost a quarter (21%) of respondents said they believed this was a huge benefit to starting a job in the New Year. If you’re thinking of moving, take this into consideration too! Find even more advice on finding a job that ticks all the boxes.  

What’s next?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, then now is the time to start! 

Here at Michael Page, we have thousands of live jobs roles across various sectors in the UK, so what are you waiting for? Find your next role ready for January.

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Want more advice on landing your dream job? Take a look through our Job Applicant Toolkit where you’ll find all the tips and tricks you need including updating your CV, nailing an interview, negotiating your salary package and much more. 

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