When to start job hunting
August 23, 2011 6:59 PM   Subscribe

I am going to quit my job and move back home to Canada with my husband. My targeted quit date is 12/16. When do I start looking for a new job?

Our stay in the USA is on my work visa, so I can't leave early. My husband needs to stay in the USA until the work on the house is done.

I was thinking I would postpone job hunting until closer to a potential start date, probably 10/1. Should I start earlier?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total)
I imagine it's going to depend enormously on where in Canada you're moving back to (big city? little city? middle of nowhere?) and what your industry is - and if you want to stay in that field.
posted by rtha at 7:06 PM on August 23, 2011

In this economy? Probably now. But then again it depends a lot on your field and you are probably going to need to be flexible about moving sooner if need be. I would start now with looking for your ideal job and then get less picky as time passes.
posted by whoaali at 7:27 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would start searching at a cursory level right now. You needn't apply, but start getting on job notification boards and seeing what kinds of jobs there are in your area and who the prolific hirers are. You can start strategizing how you'll tailor your resumes/cover letters before you move and have many things planned . Then as you get closer you can start applying and really pressing to get a gig. Once you arrive back in Canada you'll have moving-in stuff, but if you scan the various sites daily you can quickly apply for jobs over breakfast.

I'm not Canadian but at least on this side of the border things really slow down on the hiring front in December for the holidays. Notable exceptions are things like companies needing to hurry up and bring someone on before they lose the headcount at the close of the quarter.
posted by birdherder at 7:32 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's not too early to start reconnecting with your networks in Canada if you have them or start making connections if you don't. If you're near the beginning of your career or are moving into a different field, people will often be quite willing to do "informational interviews" with you. If you're staying in the same field, start getting to know the landscape of that field in whatever city you're headed to. What kinds of professional associations are there? How many companies/organizations are in your field in that city? What are typical salaries like (if you don't already have a good idea)?

Get on listservs for relevant newsletters, twitter accounts, etc. The more familiar you are with the scene, and the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job when it is time to move. Also if you start connecting with someone informally now, they may have you in mind when they have an opening in 4 months. Or even better, if you really impress someone, they may have four months to create a position for you! (Can't hurt to dream big...) Good luck!
posted by aka burlap at 7:39 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

What everyone else said. People who aren't looking for work tend to underestimate the grim realities of the job market right now...until they're looking for work, too.
posted by gnomeloaf at 7:46 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

All good advice. Just start by trolling the area's Craigslist, LinkedIn, etc. sites, whatever is good for what you'll be looking for, inquiring to some and telling them your situation up front. "Lookin' at December or so, are you guys in much of a hurry?" or whatver. Never hurts to chum the waters.
posted by rhizome at 8:11 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

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