When Should You Look for a New Job?

October 2019
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Every professional comes to a juncture over the course of their career where they begin to feel the itch to make a change and try something new. Are you there now? 

Well, there are many factors to take into consideration, including your current employment status, fulfillment and job satisfaction, and even the time of year. 

How do you know it’s time to move on to a new job? 

Sometimes, you can gauge whether or not it’s time to look for something new simply by asking yourself: “Am I happy?” Also, consider the following: Are you still learning new skills? How are you developing as a professional and continuing to enhance your experiences? Do you connect with the company mission? Are you overly stressed? 

If you have a great relationship with your manager, then it is smart to talk with them about ways to enhance your role, try new things and shake it up a bit. More than likely, when you’re a valued employee, your organization will want to find ways to keep you engaged if it’s possible. Try not to allow yourself to become complacent without saying anything.  

Is it better to be employed during your job search? 

Studies have shown that the best time to seek a new job is when you are currently employed. Although applicants tend to receive more offers when they are unemployed, the quality of the offers is significantly better when you are already employed. 

There are plenty of talented, hardworking professionals who are out of work for any number of reasons, so don’t let that dissuade you. Always approach your job search head on, regardless of your current employment status. Think of a good way to answer the inevitable question: “What have you been doing since you parted ways with your last employer?”  

What time of year makes the most sense to look for a new job? 

In terms of timing, there are certain times of year to apply for new career opportunities that yield better and faster results for job seekers and can give you a competitive edge. The beginning of the year (January and February) tends to be the best time to look for a new job in most industries. Budgets for the New Year have come in, decision-makers are back from holiday travel and staffing needs are top priority.

Competition increases in the spring, but March, April and May are still great months to apply for jobs. Companies like to get urgent hiring out of the way before the slowdown of summer time. June, July and August can be some of the hardest months of the year to look for new career opportunities, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to the hiring needs of your target organizations. Be patient. Due to summer vacations, the hiring process may take longer at this time of year. 

September and October are excellent months to seek new opportunities. The fall tends to speed things up again, and there’s much less downtime in interview processes. At the end of the year, it gets tricky again. Fewer people are leaving their positions in November and December as they await year-end bonuses, raises and possible promotions. Employees are also planning for the first quarter with their clients, and may be less likely to make a move. It’s still wise to continue networking and stay on top of what’s happening in your industry. 

Even if you decide that it’s not the best time to look for a new job, remember that you should always keep your résumé updated and continue to add to your skills and experiences. That way, once you are ready, all you need to do is flip the metaphorical switch. Happy hunting! 

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