When is the right time to search for a job?


“The stars will never align perfectly in your job search and if you wait for them to do so, a great opportunity could be missed.”- Andy Teach, Author of From Graduation to Corporation

Let’s make no mistake about it, experts believe that although jobseekers should always be on the search, certain times are more ideal than others for launching a job search. By the way, let’s not be hypocrites about it, job search is a process. No one can go around this fact.

Marjie Terry, VP of business development and client service at Great on the job, adds: “You need to make sure you have enough time on your hands to manage your job search well and make good impressions on contacts you are forming.”

Job search means business. Unless treated as such, it is a rather tiresome and normally a boring undertaking. Both those currently working but are looking for a more challenging and fulfilling job as well as those currently unemployed should view it as business. It requires time for planning and execution. It’s a daily undertaking; it involves making contacts and follow-ups where necessary.

Here’s when you should be looking for a job:

1Right now

You don’t have to wait for the perfect time. Right now is the perfect time to get started and be consistent with your job search. Right now is the time to build your network and make new connections.

2Before you need it

‘Dig a well before you are thirsty!’ You should be on the look out for new opportunities before you graduate. Create and maintain connections from college. Even while employed, get started with your job search efforts and they can take a long time before fruition.

3Create and maintain a pipeline of prospective companies

Plan ahead. Spot your targets and keep a list. Creating a list of companies you want to work for will help you reach out to the right contacts and learn about such companies. Maintain a pipelines will bolster your preparation and expose what you need to do before you can apply at a certain company.

4Before you get laid off

Whenever you see things are not okay at your company then that’s the time to get started with your job search. There will always rumours and signs when something is about to go wrong. Don’t ignore them. The best preparation is to get going with your job search

5Always know what’s out there and available in the job market

Even when you’re happily employed, you always have to know what’s happening on the job market. You have to know what’s out there. You will also be the first to notice changes and trends in the job market. This will come in handy when you want to transition.

6Certain time of the year are better than others

According to Jacquelyn Smith in When to Start a new job search“certain times of the year are also better than others for job hunting. It may depend on your specific industry or job, but the summer and the holidays tend to be slowest for hiring.”

Yet, keeping eyes and ears open is very important for success in job hunt. This is an exit strategy that should be utilized. If employed, active job search opens up and expands one’s options. No longer should people do what they hate, just to get by with life. If unemployed, proactive job search increases the chances of landing a job.

Al Coleman, Jr., author of Secrets to success: The Definitive Career Development Guide for new and first Generation Professionals, says job seekers who wait until they are laid-off or passed-over for a new position are at a serious disadvantage. He suggests you think of your search as an insurance policy.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.