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Back to research & insights Published by Alex Gotch - 5 years ago

Why is November a great month to job search?

Think it’s too close to Christmas? Think again…

Contrary to popular belief, the legal job market doesn’t slow down in the holiday season. In fact, November and December have historically been two of the busiest months of the year.

Why? It seems that lawyers are beginning to see the benefits (and these are non-idealistic, quantifiable,¬†actual¬†benefits) of finalising their job search before the end of the year. If you’re a lawyer looking for a job, now is the time to be proactive. Here’s why:

If you don’t act now, you may not have a new job until April

It might seem like an odd thing to say, but makes sense when you break it down. Delaying your job search until the New Year will almost certainly prolong your start date by a few months. Recruitment generally isn’t at the top of a law firm’s priority list in January. A lot of Partners are out of the office (making coordinating interviews difficult) and budgeting, forecasting and strategy tend to take precedence over lateral hiring. Chances are you’ll be interviewing in late January or early February, and that interview process can take a few weeks in itself. Throw in a standard one month’s notice period (or three months if you’re in the UK) and you’ll be looking at April, at the earliest, as a start date.

Maximise your time between jobs

It’s becoming more common for lawyers I work with to ask for a week off in between jobs – sometimes more. Why? They want to feel adequately refreshed and mentally prepared for their new role, after working frantically to hand over work at their old firm. If time off is important for you, bear in mind that a lot of firms who are hiring in November would actually be comfortable with a mid-January start date – meaning you could score yourself between two to four weeks to refresh, catch up with family and friends and prepare yourself for your new role.

Maximise your exposure to pay review and remuneration increases

If you’re moving to a law with its EOFY on 30 June, starting a new role in January means you could, within reason, push for a remuneration review after your first six months in the job. Starting your job search in the New Year leaves you only a few months at most before your start date the June deadline – making it impossible to push for an increase in pay, and prolonging any formal salary review until the next EOFY rolls around.

Appetite to hire

The legal job market is bustling at the moment and it’s not going to slow down over the next month or so. In fact, firms are more eager to finalise interview processes and lateral hiring before the year is out. Demand is outstripping supply and firms are offering fantastic cultural and financial incentives to attract lateral movers. There’s never been a better time to be a lawyer looking for a new role – why not take advantage and explore your options?

If you’re interested in receiving a Salary and Market Report or would like to discuss the job market in general, get in touch with Matt on +61 406 809 995 or