Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Life Is NOW - You Can't Plan For Everything

Poster found in Che Lagarto Hostel - Santiago, Chile - December 2016

When I first returned home in June from traveling abroad for 6 months, I gave myself some time to complete some administrative work at home before jumping into the job market. It wasn't until July that I actually started to look for and apply to positions. Many recruiters told me that the going would be slow as it was summer time and there would be many people, departments, and hiring managers going out on vacation. Summer is supposedly slow in the recruiting business here in the Northeast part of the country because we get the best weather of the years in his timeframe.

I don't think they were mistaken. It has, in fact, been a pretty slow time. There haven't been many job postings. Any kind of communication with a potential hiring group has been a slow volley back and forth. And for any interviews that have been held, the decision time / response time has been sluggish, if they respond at all.

Now we're into the Fall. I haven't particularly seen an uptick in job postings. Nor have any recruiters been more communicative with me. In fact, a former colleague of mine even said that Fall could be the least likely time period to secure a position. The reason he gave was that many companies go into a restructure or reevaluation period during the 4th quarter. He says that if you haven't already been hired by September, then chances are you won't be until January.

His logic makes sense. A lot of calendar year companies are in the midst of their annual budgets and forecasting for the following year. It's also the time when companies tie up their expenses so as not to exceed their prior years forecasts before year-end.

So is the best time to be hired during the first 6 months of the calendar year / fiscal year?

It makes me a little upset because I thought we had done the analysis thoroughly enough to avoid being unemployed for so long. December to June is in theory the least busy 6 month frame for tax professionals. Our conscientious decision to come home in June was made so that we could jump right back into the tax compliance season for 2016, while not missing too much of the 2017 year so that we could catch up easily in both scenarios. Had we left in June to return for December, we would have been leaving our colleagues high and dry for the 2015 compliance season and missed out on the 2nd half of the 2016 year's activities. Would I have had a job in January if we took this route? I have no idea. It's all risk.

To all the tax accountants out there that plan to take significant time off (sabbatical / leave of absence / quitting your job all together, etc.) this is a lesson learned on your behalf. There is no ideal time to take off. No matter how much planning you do for your return to the work force, there are no guarantees. Go whenever you please, and deal with the consequences when you return. (520)

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