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Your 2018 job search: Why now is the right time to think about a new job
As we roll into April, and memories of the New Year fade, many peoples’ thoughts turn to their job progression. But what are the key signs that your career growth is waning? And how can you tell if your next step should be to move on or knuckle down?
Did you head into work this morning with a spring in your step? Safer to call it more of a trudge?
It could just be that Monday feeling, or related to a particular project you have on your plate but if this is something you’ve been battling for a while, you might want to have a serious think about the underlying cause.
Though typically thought of as the number one time for people to look for a new job, many will actually use the New Year as an opportunity to tackle their current role with a refreshed mindset. This year work will be different. That feeling you had in December was just because everyone was tired. All that opportunity you’ve been promised will finally come your way.
And so this sense of optimism propelled you through everything the first three months threw your way from Blue Monday in January, to snowstorms in March. Sure, you might have done some window shopping to see what other roles are out there Google shows an annual spike in searches for the term ‘jobs’ every January but you were willing to give the situation a chance.
As the rest of the year stretches out before you, however, the question is how far does this willing extend?
April’s job search factors
If this situation is sounding achingly familiar, then now could be your chance to do something about it. In fact, a number of factors make April a prime time for pursuing a new career opportunity:
The jobs are out there: According to our 2016 and 2017 job advertisements data, the main peak for available roles in the first half of the year is actually in March not January, as you might perhaps expect. Comparatively, by May and June the number of job advertisements drifts downwards.
But competition for jobs isn’t (or at least not as much): Adding to this, our job applications data from the last two years shows lower levels of applications in March and April, versus a peak in May.
And the reviews are in: With March heralding performance reviews and bonus season for many industries, a lot of businesses will find themselves considering the gaps within their workforce’s skill sets. Meanwhile, with some employees receiving disappointing scores and payments, these gaps could be set to widen even further leaving the door wide open for new talent.
Testing the signs of career stagnation
So far so positive, but before you type up that resignation letter, it is important to make sure you know the right way to kick-start the next cycle of your career growth. What are the questions you should be asking yourself to differentiate between temporary unhappiness at work or a fixable growth lull, and a genuine reason to move on?
The below make a good starter for ten:
When was your last promotion?
What is the timeframe for your next one?
Do you have a clear idea of your next role?
Are people being promoted around and above you?
According to performance reviews, are you consistently meeting expectations but never exceeding them?
When was the last time you felt truly challenged in your work?
When did you last learn a new skill?
Who do you have to look up to and learn from at work?
Is there someone to pass your skill set to below you?
Has your level of responsibility changed within the last year?
If you have a positive response to any of the above then perhaps your situation isn’t as broken as you might believe. An honest conversation with your line manager to put in place a solid progression plan might be all that is required to set in motion the change you need.
Handing in your notice isn’t always the answer, but to know whether it is time to change jobs or not you must have a clear idea of where you are in your current career, and where your growth is headed.
Isn’t it about time you started asking yourself the right questions?