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New year, new job - but is January a good time to find a new job?

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If the holidays or your New Year’s resolutions have you thinking about a new job, you’re not alone.

“The start of a new year is usually a time of reflection and decision-making. Many people reflect on their career goals for the year ahead and are eager to get off to a good start,” said Gaelle Blake, manager permanent appointments at Hays. , told CNBC Make It.

The data confirms this. Forty-seven per cent of UK employees said they were looking for a new role at the end of 2022, according to a survey by recruitment firm Robert Half.

Similarly, data provided to CNBC’s Make It by Jobs platform actually showed that job searches are highest in January, and the busiest day for them often falls on the first week of the month.

At the same time, job postings tend to have a slower start to the year and increase over time, according to data from Indeed.

“Recruiter activity lags in the first few weeks before hitting a high in late January and February,” Indeed UK economist Jack Kennedy told CNBC’s Make It.

But what does this mean for people trying to find a new job right now?

More competition and imminent layoffs

Should job seekers delay their search?

However, all this doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up on your job search, experts say.

“Those starting their job search in January shouldn’t be discouraged by a slow start,” says Kennedy, adding that starting your job search early might even give you an advantage.

Employers and recruiters who are able to act quickly may therefore be able to outpace their competitors, he explained.

Despite continued economic uncertainty, the current situation is not entirely bleak for job seekers, said Kris Harris, regional director at Robert Half.

“While the recession is understandably on everyone’s mind right now, I wouldn’t let that put you off exploring new opportunities. This is a recession like no other where employment levels are still relatively low. high and the demand for good employees is still strong, he told CNBC’s Make It.

Moreover, the labor market is still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, and so there are still more jobs than job seekers in many cases, he points out.

But with the mix of the new year bringing new motivation, a surge in job seekers and economic uncertainty, it’s essential to carefully consider your options and think about what lies ahead, Blake believes.

“I would recommend thinking about what you want to get out of the year ahead in terms of your career and what actions will help you get there. Ask yourself if you can progress in your current role or if a change is needed,” she says.

“If free time has made it possible for you to change jobs, don’t ignore your intuition,” Blake concluded.

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