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I hope this isn't closed as off-topic.

In most jobs, you get a monthly salary. In months that have more holidays than average, your return-on-work-hours increases. So, if you had to pick a date to start working, it would be in your best interest to start working just before the holidays (barring other considerations).

I wonder if people make this calculations (consciously or unconsciously) - do people start at a new job just before the holidays more than the rest of the year?

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    I would say that 'most' is a rather strong word. There are plenty of hourly workers who don't necessarily fit this situation. – George Marian Sep 9 '10 at 15:04
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I would think the opposite. If I were in a situation where I could pick my start date, unless I was really hard up for money, I wouldn't want to go into the holiday season with a new job that and no vacation time accrued. Who wants to work on Christmas eve?

  • Many salaried positions will give you Christmas eve off for free, as a company-wide holiday. – user296 Sep 9 '10 at 16:50
  • True, for Christmas eve, but for those with out-of town families it is also nice (if possible) to have the freedom to take more than 1-2 days for the holiday. – JohnFx Sep 9 '10 at 20:18
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I would imagine quite the opposite. Employers can choose the start date and most are quite happy to keep potential recruits waiting until everyone is back from leave.

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    I will note this - old employers hate having people who are about to leave sticking around through the season for giving bonuses. They'd prefer to get you out before they have to pay you any extra, so if bonus time lines up with holiday time, they will kick and scream to get you out. – justkt Sep 9 '10 at 14:51
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This is at the bottom of my list of concerns, as both an employee and an employee. When hiring, its because I have work that needs to be done. I want to get someone in as quickly as possible, so I really don't care about holidays. Holiday pay also doesn't come out of my budget, so that doesn't enter in the decision.

As a employee, if I'm unemployed I want to start as soon as possible. If switching jobs, I'm going to get paid for the holiday at one job or another, so it really doesn't matter. The last time I changed employers, I started the second week of January. That was more driven by moving concerns than anything else.

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I've noticed that most people start new jobs just before the holidays for a different reason: A lot of departments find themselves in a position where they need to finally get around to spending the rest of their staff budget or risk losing it next year; so a lot of hiring happens at the end of the year, especially of contractors.

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