It’s the beginning of busy season. Lots of work. Long days. Ugh.
Your happiness assessment showed it might be time for a change. But you can’t change jobs during busy season, can you?
It’s a dilemma.
If you’re ready to make a move, though, looking for a job during busy season may give you a leg up on others. Competition will be low, and the new firm will know you are truly interested in coming on board. In addition, at many firms, particularly midsized and larger firms, firm leaders don’t do client work, or at least they don’t do much of it. Instead, they use busy season for nurturing clients and planning for the future—including developing staffing plans.
Think about it. Firms don’t close their career and recruiting sites during busy season. Job boards don’t shut down. Headhunters are still out there. Which makes it a good time to reach the people you need to reach. They have more time to look at the resumes that come across their desks, and they may even take a phone call. If they decide to interview you, they’ll accommodate your schedule. They’ll do the same if they decide to hire you. Chances are you won’t have to start before the end of April, so you won’t burn any bridges at your current firm.
Those are the pluses of job hunting during busy season. Here are a couple of negatives:
It’s busy season. You are busy with a capital B. If you’ve done your research throughout the year, though, you’ve probably updated your resume and narrowed your list of ideal employers to a manageable number. You’ll be able to fit a job search into your schedule if you focus on just a few firms.
You may be afraid of looking desperate because, really, who is crazy enough to look for a job while they are working 70 hours a week? The best tactic for dealing with this is by confronting it directly, possibly in your cover letter. Tell your prospective employer the truth: you want to work for them (have your reasons ready); want to start after busy season because that’s a good time to make a fresh start; will make time to interview because you are focused on your career goals; etc. You get the idea.
The bottom line is that looking for a new job is a job in itself. If you’ve decided the time is right for you to leave your current firm, you should take advantage of all opportunities that present themselves. Would you prefer to be one of a dozen resumes on a recruiter’s desk, or one of a few? Being one of a few could make the difference in whether you get the job or not.
So don’t write off looking for a new job during busy season. The timing may work in your favor.