Best Months to Find Jobs in the Game Industry
For every game developer out there with a job, there are 10 aspiring to land their first gig in the industry.
There is a season for just about everything, including game development jobs and contracts.
I have worked in the game industry as a full-time developer and as a freelancer.
I have gotten one offer in the Fall, one in the Winter, one in the summer and dozens of freelancing contracts throughout the year, ofcourse fluctuating in frequency depending on the month.
Here is a breakdown of common seasonal patterns and when you should be most expecting to landing that job you are craving.
January and February
This is the best time of the year to look for game development jobs. Everyone is rested up from the holiday. With a new year comes new changes. Companies, small and large recieve updated budgets and can afford to hire new team members.
Keep in mind the first two weeks of January can be slow but by the end of January and the start of Febuary you can expect to start seeing a lot of job posting and invitations to interview.
On Upwork you will find many refreshed freelancers and entrepreneurs seeking developers for projects of all sizes.
March, April, May
Although the start of the year is the best time to get into the game industry, during the spring you will see things slow down. Many of the awesome jobs available at the start of the year are filled up. Hiring managers and senior developers are busy working on their projects they started that year.
For many contracts that started in January, you will see them ending during this season.
Even still, my experience being a freelancer during these months has been good and you will be able to find new opportunities to grow your freelancing career online. Experienced developers will do well during these months while juniors may struggle in connecting with hiring managers.
June, July, August
Unfortunately, the summertime is not the best time to look for a job. Job seekers and hirers alike are on vacation and there are very few good jobs available.
If you are stuck in this season and are having trouble finding a job, I would suggest updating your skillset instead and waiting for a better season.
On Upwork I noticed that despite the availability of contracts of the platform, there are few freelancers applying to the jobs.
September, October, November
The fall season is one of the best times of the year to find a new job and begin and/or transform your career. This was the season when I first switched from being a job seeker to becoming an independent freelancer. The abundance of contracts available helped me make the leap.
Many large studios want to use up their hiring budgets and startup companies want to meet their goals before the end of the year.
Keep in mind, if your interview is at the end of November you shouldn't expect to start working in your new position until January.
If you are seeking a job during this month, good luck! December is easily the hardest month to land a job in the game industry. Not to say it isn't impossible, as some game companies may want to do some last minute hiring before the start of the new year.
As the holidays roll in, offices close down and all the heavy lifting is pushed to the next year.
As for freelancing, although there are contracts posted onto Upwork in December, the success rate is very low. You may do an interview with someone for a job and then not hear from them until January. People expect you to understand, and any Human Resource issues faced in December should be forgiven.
If you are having issues landing a full-time position in any of these months, be sure to give freelancing a try. This should help level out the amount of jobs available and increase your chances to Level-Up your career!