If you made a New Year’s resolution in 2017 to make a job or career change, odds are you’re still with your current employer.
The reason New Year’s resolutions have such a low success rate, according to University of Scranton professor of psychology Dr. John Norcross, is because most of us aren’t ready for big changes.
One of the biggest changes you can make in life is to change your place of employment. Your career not only affects your income and ability to live a certain lifestyle. It also affects your health (an energy-zapping job can leave you grabbing unhealthy, processed foods or skipping the gym), your home life (long hours can mean less time with family), and your leisure (weekends spent catching up on emails instead of enjoying hobbies).
With so much riding on how and where you work, making sure you’re highly satisfied in your career should be at the top of your to-do list. But waiting until the new year will cost you — there are so many reasons to get started in your job search TODAY.
The jobs are there.
According to an Accounting Principals survey of more than 500 human resources or hiring managers, 94% recommend job seekers continue their job search through the end of the year. We wholeheartedly agree with this. Most people think that hiring managers want to wait until the new fiscal year to fill open positions, or that they’re on vacation for much of December, but this just isn’t true. It’s rather typical to see a steady stream of job openings throughout the year, without any significant dip in November and December.
In the fourth quarter, many companies meet to evaluate progress on current goals as well as to strategize for the upcoming year. Achieving bigger goals often requires adding additional talent to the team, and a company that plans well (read: a company you want to work for) will want to hit the ground running in 2018 with its team already in place.
By getting all of your ducks in a row and contacting companies or recruiters now, you’ll be in prime position to have interviews underway before the new year begins — and, conveniently, at a time when your current workload may be lighter and days off are often easier to schedule.
You’ll beat the rush.
While other passive job seekers are “just trying to make it through the holidays,” you’ll be able to stand out better in the smaller pool of candidates if you start your job search now. You’ll also have a much better chance to snag those aforementioned open positions, with fewer candidates to contend with. And, even if you don’t find the perfect fit before January 1, you’ll still be more familiar to recruiters than those who submitted their resumes after the first of the year.
You can time it to your benefit.
While bonuses are typically paid between December and February, you don’t have to wait until the check clears the bank to start your search. Remember, hiring doesn’t happen overnight. By starting your job search now, you have time to complete the interview process and secure a new job that begins after you receive any expected bonuses.
Also, if you know you definitely want to work for a different company, have better work-life balance, be in a higher role or relocate, the edge you get from staying ahead of the competition may be worth more than any bonus you may receive.
There’s no risk.
When you work with a solid recruiting firm, there’s nothing to lose. Typically, job seekers do not pay for these recruiting services, but they do reap the benefits of the recruiter’s expertise, connections within the financial industry and ability to make mutually beneficial matches between employers and candidates.
Be sure to look for a team that operates with integrity and keeps all information, documents, and conversations confidential. Your resume or name should never be shared with an organization without first discussing the position with you and getting your permission to proceed. There should also be confidentiality agreements throughout the entire process so you feel comfortable that there is the utmost discretion in place.
Whether you apply directly with an organization or work with an experienced recruiting firm, getting ahead of the pack and seizing opportunities always makes sense. Use this simple checklist to help you to begin your job search TODAY.
CHECKLIST FOR JOB SEEKERS
- Compile your career “wish list.” Include preferences such as:
- Geographic location
- Size of organization
- Job role and duties
- Benefits and other perks
- Update your résumé.
- Contact a trusted recruiter to begin your search.