A lifetime has been lived since the last time we chatted. Oh my gosh. The time I spent in Kenya was, I think, perhaps, one of the happiest weeks of my whole life. I don't think I've ever actually felt rejuvenated before in my whole life. I do now, though.
My friend Dani explains it a lot better than I can. You know something immense has happened when even I can't really find the words to articulate it.
It's been a slow and gentle re-entry into city life. (See: I'm currently hiding out in my favorite charity café in East London, effectively wearing pajamas, elegantly regrouping.)
After this Kenya experience, I have so many things I want to tell you. I shared a lot of reflections (and pictures) on Instagram as quickly as I could... but so much of it takes time to process, too...
One thing I do know to be true after this week: you're probably wasting time based on misguided assumptions. One said assumption? That nobody hires at the end of the year. This is woefully inaccurate. In fact, I'm about to blow this assumption to smithereens and explain why October is the best time possible to be looking for a new full-time job.
If you Google 'best time to look for a job,' you will overwhelmingly see most people tell you that most hiring happens from January through April. It's a much-too-simplified answer, but it's based on something much more important that you need to understand: headcount planning.
Alexa, what's headcount planning?
So glad you asked.
In September/October, a lot of companies are making decisions about how many open roles will be available for all of 2019 (!). This process, sometimes referred to as headcount planning, is based on a lot of different factors: revenue growth projections, new projects the company wants to invest in, people getting promoted, people leaving the company, etc.
Based on that, a company comes up with a number. They may 'release' these roles out over time, but most companies like to have a set prediction in place for the entire year.
And once the budget gets decided (example: we're going to hire 5 people at $50,000 salary per person for an estimated salary budget increase of $300,000) it's pretty hard for a hiring manager to just 'find' other money that hasn't been spoken for by something else in the company.
While it can be tempting to think that every rejection or "we're not hiring right now" notice is a personal affront to you and your character, it's usually got a lot to do with these pre-determined annual budget allocations. You could be the greatest hire in the world–but if there's no money, there's no money.
Employees make the world go round–and they're also an expense that needs to be projected for in a company's financial reports.
Makes sense. What does this mean for me?
There are two big things at play here which could mean a new job for you.
(1) Some companies are going to want to get ahead.
They will want to start the hiring process now for 2019 so that they have bums in seats and ready to rock come January. Meaning: this is a great time to introduce yourself, or reawaken an old connection.
(2) Some companies are realizing they didn't hit their headcount for this year, and they will scramble to get any remaining 2018 roles filled.
It can feel hard to believe from the job seeker side of things, but hiring is a really hard process for a lot of companies and they consistently fail at finding the people they want to hire. (I'm going to go into this in depth, a glimpse from behind enemy lines, in next year's #ENTRYLEVELBOSS book!)
At the same time, hiring managers are VERY incentivized to make sure they don't leave any 2018 roles open–because the budget people might say "Well, you don't need 3 more people next year if you didn't hire the 2 people we offered you this year!"
If that's the case, that means it's a race to the finish line to get you in before Christmas and before their 2018 money disappears–and they're looking for YOU.
So, go on. Go get yours. Send that email. The 2018 clock is ticking, and it's your turn.