Be Ready For An Irregular Job Search

For those of you who hadn’t followed along, you all know I lost my job last month, which also led to me delaying my job search book, written during my last job search.  Once I swam to the shore of the irony sea, I got back onto it, did a job search, and got a new job.

I also had a valuable, painful lesson to share; the search for a job is not a regular thing, but we can miss just how many factors can influence when a job posts, when hiring is done, when interviews occur.  As I’d lost a job at early in a quarter, before a bunch of holidays, at the end of the year it was rather insightful.  As I talked to more people, I got a better picture of all the factors that make the job search and hiring so irregular.

There’s a lot more than I’d thought of.  Here’s my list of what to look out for that will make your job search chaotic, irregular, and a bit confusing.

Holidays: Sure, yes, we know this.  But remember that how holidays are handled varies by industry and by region.

Other Holidays: Diwali is a far bigger holiday out here than, say, in Chicago.  It affected many companies (and indeed, some people I knew directly).  You can miss holidays that aren’t part of your culture or how they affect.

Holiday-Related Efforts: Black Friday.  Duh.

Weather: Storms, snow, floods, etc. can be disruptive.  Think about that in Winter (heck, out here in Silicon Valley we get backfires set to avoid wildfires).

Cycles: Every city, megaregion, state, and country has its own cycles.  When I lived out east hiring was dead for Q4, but I found a job in Q4 in a few weeks in Silicon Valley.

Local Trends: This is one I became painfully aware of; titles are changing in my profession of Project Management.  This has been a relatively recent local trend, and it made my job search a little weirder (for instance, what’s the difference between a Product Manager and a Project Owner?).  Local trends that may not be reflected in the big picture can still affect your job search’s results.  This may be a one-time thing, but still . . .

Region Leaping: Sure a holiday, weather, or other factor may not affect where you live – but how many other offices around the country or world play a role in your hiring?  One holiday, one storm, one power outage can affect your hiring unexpectedly.

News Cycles: Publicity, news cycles, trade shows, really do reflect what people do in hiring.  Being aware of these trends – or one-time occurrences – can be very helpful.  I’m pretty sure one set of leads I had evaporated in the news cycle.

The job search is not regular, postings are not regular, results are not regular.  Keep those cycles in mind will make it a bit easier on you.

So, what cycles, trends, and other disruptors have you found?

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at