Many people begin a new year with plans to change certain aspects of their lives. While modifying diet and exercise habits are some of the more popular initiatives, a number of people view the month of January as a good time to re-evaluate their employment situation and look for a new job or a new career. For cancer patients and survivors who are unemployed or feeling ready to re-enter the workforce after taking time off for treatment, the start of a new year can sometimes provide the incentive needed to get the ball rolling.
According to a recent article in The Muse titled “The Unspoken Rules of Job Searching in January,” there are a number of reasons why January is a smart time to begin a job hunt. To start, for many companies, a new year “brings new budgeting plans, which can mean more money to hire more people.” It’s also the time when organizations are establishing their overall annual goals, which could determine whether certain departments need to increase staffing. All of this can result in more opportunities for applicants and greater efforts on the part of hiring managers and recruiters.
However, it doesn’t mean that actually landing a job will necessarily be easier or faster. That’s because not all company budgets are finalized and approved at the start of the calendar year, which “may cause a delay in hiring decisions.” Also, “January tends to bring an influx of eager job-seekers,” which could result in increased competition for open positions.
The upshot: “Treat your job search in January like you would any other month,” by adhering to these basic guidelines:
- Be sure to have an up-to-date resume that is targeted to the type of job you’re interested in. For help with your resume, check out our article “Write Your Best Resume,” then submit yours to our free Resume Review Service and get expert feedback from one of our professional career coaches.
- Write a compelling cover letter that is tailored to the specific position you’re applying for. For assistance in drafting a well-written, effective letter, consult our article “Mastering Your Cover Letter.”
- Actively network with others, and try to connect with people in the field/at the organization you’re interested in working for. For information and best practices, consult the Networking section of our website.
Many cancer survivors in particular find that, following a cancer experience, their job no longer interests them they way it did pre-diagnosis. Often they feel a need to do something that is more fulfilling, more rewarding. If you’re thinking of changing career paths or looking for more meaningful work, be sure to research your new field of interest, so you know what the trends are and what skills you might have to develop.
Finally, in addition to consulting the Looking for Work section of our site and our How-To videos on writing an amazing resume and acing an interview, another helpful resource for anyone who is beginning a new job hunt is our Job Search Toolkit, which can be ordered or downloaded for free by clicking here.