A client of mine is looking to move to Canada’s West Coast but is unsure of when to begin applying. She doesn’t want to start too early, get a job, and then have to hastily pack up her life here to hectically begin her new one across the country. But of course, she also doesn’t want to begin applying too late, arrive there, and have to do random shift work in order to make ends meet.

When job searching, how do you know when to start?

Short answer: as soon as possible.
Long answer: it depends on the industry.

In my client’s case, there is no such thing as too early since she is searching for retail headquarters inventory allocation positions. It is always better to have something in place when you arrive in your new city than to wait until you’re there to really get serious about your job search. 3 months is a safe time to start job searching for most industries, keeping in mind that particular industries which have fixed seasons, such as public school teaching and landscaping, begin their recruitment process as specific times during the year.

Each industry also operates in its own time-zone of sorts: from blink-and-you’ll-miss bars and restaurants to sloth-like government. From the time of a job posting, it can take anywhere from a week to several months for an organization to select interview candidates. After the interview, according to glassdoor’s research in the US, it can take between 10 to 50 days to be offered the job.  Find out your preferred industry’s typical time to hire (from job posting to hiring), and plan your career move accordingly.


2 weeks

  • Construction
  • Food, Hospitality
  • Retail & Service
  • Beauty, Fitness

4 – 6 weeks

  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Administrative & HR
  • Customer Service
  • Not-for-profit
  • Start-ups

2 – 3 months

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biotechnology
  • University teaching
  • Consulting
  • Marketing, Advertising
  • Financial
  • Health Services
  • Information IT
  • Engineering
  • Aerospace, Defense
  • International Organizations

6+ months   

  • Federal Governments in North America



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