Timing is Everything: Knowing the Best and Worst Times to Switch Jobs 

Timing is Everything: Knowing the Best and Worst Times to Switch Jobs 

Aside from skill development and promotions, another part of career advancement is the strategic pursuit of new job opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a change of environment or you’re in search of the next big step toward your ultimate professional goal, looking for a job takes more than just guts and a polished resume.

What more is there to consider when you’re in the market to change jobs? One factor that’s often overlooked is timing. Other than knowing what role you’re looking for, it’s also vital to know when to switch jobs and when to begin your search. You need to learn about hiring patterns that can significantly influence your professional journey.

Importance of Timing in Career Advancement 

According to studies, 51 percent of job seekers spend eleven hours a week looking for work.¹ During these job searches, some people have the tendency to apply the moment they find an opportunity. On the other hand, others opt to save potential job listings for later.

They’ll submit their applications at a more strategic time. While research may not definitively settle which approach is superior, the debate itself underscores a critical factor that could make or break your job search: timing.

Beyond mere chance, understanding the timing of when to apply for a job can greatly increase your chances of landing the title you want. Essentially, timing can shape opportunities. Not all industries or companies follow the exact timelines, but they usually operate within similar cycles at different points of the year. With insight into the optimal timing of switching jobs, you can substantially succeed in changing careers.

Read More: How to Accomplish Your 2023 Goals 


The Best Times for Job Search

Aside from being qualified for positions, it’s important to leverage the patterns of the job market to your advantage. Imagine you’re on a boat setting sail with favorable winds at your back. The fact that you’re on a boat is similar to having the needed qualifications. Meanwhile, having the right timing equates to having the wind push your imaginary boat forward.

So, what are some yearly cycles you can look out for when making a career change? You could consider applying during the following periods of time:


Beginning of the New Year 

Along with the new year, companies and organizations offer fresh possibilities for candidates looking for a change in their careers. Equipped with new allocations of hiring budgets, executives and hiring managers are often motivated to find people who can help make their plans for the year come to fruition.

Motivated by new company initiatives and a strategic plan for increasing company success, employers are keener to hire qualified and skilled individuals to join their ranks during these times. Usually, they’re also made confident because they know what they need based on recent sales forecasts done at the end of the previous year.

Another reason why the beginning of the year is an ideal time to apply for jobs is the sheer quantity of available roles during these times. During the new year, companies aren’t the only ones who search for success. In the spirit of new year resolutions and updated life plans, professionals like yourself usually reflect on their current roles and responsibilities during the end of the year.

Some decide to advance their professional journey by chasing new endeavors. When this happens, it opens up even more job opportunities for candidates that were previously filled prior to the new year.


Spring and Fall Season 

Among the four seasons of the year, spring and fall are the two most ideal ones when applying for or switching jobs. First of all, these two seasons usually witness an increase in hiring rates since the seasons before them are considered holiday seasons.

During these times of the year, companies experience a surge of hiring needs as they try to fill in newly opened positions as well as newly created roles for approved projects.

For spring, companies usually launch new projects during the start of the year. This means there are more opportunities for you to grab as organizations find themselves needing more skilled professionals. As mentioned earlier in this article, spring is also the time of the year when new hiring budgets are given. This increases your chances of being employed for the role you’re aiming for.

Meanwhile, the fall season usually includes finalizing company budgets as well as assessing what they need for the rest of the year. If company leaders find that their current workforce is lacking in the holiday rush, then they’ll push to hire workers to meet their staffing needs.


The Worst Times for Job Search

If there are good seasons to start changing jobs, there are also parts of the year you should avoid. Strategically speaking, if you’re thinking of leaving your current job for new opportunities during the following times, you might want to reconsider.


The Holiday Season 

Based on market trend research, the holiday season usually experiences a slowdown in hiring and employee onboarding. Employers have the tendency to post fewer job openings during these times, especially during the month of December.²

The reduced hiring activity for the holiday season is caused by many factors. For example, organizations may have already filled open roles during the previous seasons. It’s also possible that the priorities of both candidates and employers shift during these times.

Instead of focusing entirely on filling roles, people may also be busy planning gatherings and holiday-related events. Although employment rates generally slow down during these periods of the year, it’s important to note that hiring never completely stops in the land of work.


Middle of the Year 

Aside from the holidays, when is it the most fun to rest and enjoy time with your loved ones? Summer. This is one of the reasons why the middle of the year is not an ideal time to apply for jobs. Just like any other people, employees, and employers also take the time to schedule their vacations.

As professionals take time to rest, the recruitment process may be slowed down in many companies as a result.

The middle of the year is also the time when companies reassess their yearly goals and compare them to their current performance. This can sometimes lead to a decrease in job openings as companies implement a temporary hiring freeze and tighten their budget spending.

During these lulls, what exactly should a candidate do while waiting for hiring rates to pick up? Below are suggestions to keep both your productivity and your motivation high.

  • Spend time updating your resume and portfolio
  • Invest in improving your soft skills and hard talents
  • Conduct research about companies you would like to be a part of
  • Learn new skills aligned with your chosen career path
  • Lean into networking groups that align with your industry and skill sets
  • Improve your chances of getting hired by reaching out to professional recruiters. 


Unlock Your Job Search Potential with Expert Guidance 

The best and worst times to apply for a job can vary depending on your own needs and career field. For example, roles for business analysts can be highly sought after when organizations make major changes within their companies. Meanwhile, roles for cybersecurity professionals can rise if new technology is introduced to an industry or if there is a trend of security breaches happening across organizations.

But the truth is, applying during the best times of the year doesn’t ensure you’ll get the job you want. Aside from staying motivated and maintaining momentum in your applications, you also need to be patient and use your resources wisely.


Leveraging Recruiters for a Successful Job Search

Considering the intricacies of optimal job hunting, recruiters become an important tool you can use to increase your chances of landing the ideal job. Trained to become your advocate, recruiters can offer you personalized insights all throughout the hiring process. From suggestions to improve your resume to practicing interview questions, they can aid you in your candidate journey.

Aside from giving advice based on their expertise, a recruiter can also greatly expand the number of possibilities and opportunities you can grab. They’re usually equipped with a wide network of professionals and companies in different industries and tend to have inside-track relationships with the hiring managers.

Because of this, you could get valuable information about roles that aren’t available yet to the public and can bypass what many times feels like the black hole of online applications. Companies who develop strong relationships with their recruiting teams tend to more quickly trust the candidates being put in front of them, which increases the chances of getting hired for the roles you apply for.



At On-Demand Group, we’re committed to fostering genuine relationships with candidates like you. We establish authentic business partnerships founded on mutual respect and shared benefits.

If you’re a candidate seeking to advance your career, we bring our unwavering dedication to discovering job opportunities that align with your skills and professional aspirations. Contact us today to learn how we can help your job search.



1 Kolmar, Chris. “15+ INCREDIBLE JOB SEARCH STATISTICS [2023]: WHAT JOB SEEKERS NEED TO KNOW.” Zippia, 23 Feb. 2023, www.zippia.com/advice/job-search-statistics/.

2 Conerly, Bill. “Hiring Slows During The Holidays, But Some Opportunities Remain.” Forbes, 26 Nov. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2019/11/26/hiring-slows-during-the-holidays-but-some-opportunities-remain/?sh=481f85e3776a.

Dive into the cutting-edge innovations unveiled at CES 2024, where breakthrough technologies redefine the future...
Learn how you can apply Agile Succession Planning for your business through these tips and...
Navigate AI leadership in today's business landscape. Discover the core skills and qualities essential for...