When is the Best Time to Look for a Job?

Of course, this is a sort of academic question, since many people that are seeking work are doing so because they don’t have a job and need one. However, I have been in touch with some people recently that led to consider this question anew. To put it more clearly, is it to your advantage to look for a job when you are still working?

The conventional wisdom is that the best time to look for a job is when you already have a job, as you feel less pressure and are in a better negotiating position. This is a search by choice, as opposed to the more forced search.

What I have discovered though is the common situation that those that are working often don’t/can’t find the time to conduct a proper search. Work (life!) gets in the way, and there are not enough waking hours to network and meet professionals in your field. At the end, these searches tend to focus on online job sites exclusively (which readers of this blog know is not the best way to find a job) and simply fizzle out. Some people may react with a “So what?” attitude, since the person has a job already anyway. However, there can be more negative consequences:

First, by not making the correct effort to search for work, you might well be missing opportunities that would be of interest to you.

Most importantly, this bad memory of not progressing in your job search carries over to when you are more seriously seeking work. Seeking employment is a time consuming task which requires a great degree of focus and effort. If you didn’t have the ability to prioritize your search for a new role, in all likelihood you won’t have great success, as is the case with many people that are already employed and decide to look around. What is therefore critical in this case is to keep things in perspective. When your job search does become more significant, remember the limited amount of time that you were previously able to search for work, and make a concerted effort to invest yourself fully in your current job search. This is the key to getting better results

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