December is an easy month to take your foot off the gas and coast towards the end of the year. It’s dark and cold going into and home from work; there are endless social events to attend; and the office is likely to be closed for a third of the month. However, December isn’t just about the office Christmas party. It’s also a great month for starting your search for a new job.

Growth plans, hiring strategies and budgets for 2018 are being signed off at companies in every sector between now and the end of the year. Motivated employers who want to kick off the New Year in a determined fashion will start from their first day back – and candidates who are ready to go will have a distinct advantage. If your workload is lighter in December, why not use the time to update your CV and social media profiles, as well as perform some networking on LinkedIn? Reconnect with prospective leads or contacts that may be useful, especially if they’re likely to be more available and amenable at seasonal networking events.

Employers went through the same process last year, don’t forget, so budgets and, more importantly, targets for 2017 are still live. It can be the case that if headcount targets aren’t met this year, next year’s budgets may be decreased, so many businesses are keen to continue their hiring plans over the next few weeks. Again, if you’re ready to go, particularly when other candidates are static due to end-of-year fatigue or imminent bonus concerns, then you already have a competitive edge. Bear in mind that those other candidates may have a renewed motivation in January and that applications tend to soar with all the new year/new job mentalities, so getting yours over in December puts you in a strong position.

If you’re considering your next career move, don’t be misled into thinking that the market is quiet through December or that nothing happens until January. Speak to your recruitment consultant about opportunities and start interviewing – even that element of the process is easier in December – with so many people using up annual leave, there are no suspicious absences from your desk! 

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