"The Holidays Are Coming Up… And So Is Your Next Job!"
11/30/23 Edition Stephen Says Column
As we get closer to Thanksgiving and get ready for the holiday season, it’s that time of year when I start thinking about whether I should change jobs, or maybe just start looking around for what else might be out there.
I consider myself very aspirational and ambitious. I really want to grow my career, and I really want to make more money. I often think about it as my New Year’s resolution every year: “how can I get further towards my personal and career goals?” From what I can tell, it’s a candidate’s market right now, and I don’t see any harm in looking for new opportunities in Q4, with the possibility of landing a new job by Q1, 2024.
What do you think, Stephen?
It seems that everybody is wanting to hire, and every time one of my colleagues gets a job at another company and goes in to resign, our boss wants so badly to hold onto them that they get a raise! So that’s why I think there doesn’t seem to be a downside to looking for a new job while keeping my own, even if I decide to stay put in the end. If my boss finds out that I’m interviewing elsewhere, he won’t get mad – he’ll get nervous!
Our sales team achieved our sales goal this calendar year so I’m going to get a bonus in mid-January. I like my job, but as I said, I’m always looking to move ahead and reach the next plateau of success. It’s just in my nature. Bottom line is I’m curious if there’s another job or company that’s going to challenge me more and make me a better sales manager. Any tips for someone looking to advance their career in the new year?
Aspirational and Ambitious
Dear A & A,
It’s not only the perfect time of year to explore other job opportunities, but it’s also the perfect time in the global job market to start looking! That’s because good employees at every level are in high demand, and right now, you are correct: the employees are controlling the hiring scenario!
However, I suspect that, in our industry, this will start to change in the 2nd half of 2024. Yes – you heard it here first: employees and perspective employees may have the upper hand right now, but that will change as we get into the ’24 calendar year. This isn’t an economic prediction – I’m not playing Jerome Powell here – it’s a hiring and employee compensation prediction based on the patterns I see. Employers tell us that they realize their employees are being hit by inflation so they have had to give raises to offset this but, unfortunately, sales revenue has not kept pace with the increased costs. So soon, sometime in 2024, new hiring will slow down and salary increases will stop, period.
Here’s why this is one of the best times of year to be open to looking for another job:
First – there will be a great percentage of employees that will quit after they receive their bonuses at the end of 2023. So, if you dip your toe into the looking “pool” now, when an opening comes up in a company, you’re going to be called and considered first since you got in the pool early. They have your resume, they already interviewed you and know you, and it’s an easy decision.
Second - employers are desperate to keep good employees right now, so there is little risk in your looking. What’s the worst-case scenario? You’ll get a counteroffer and be just as happy staying put! (Caution: With counteroffers, there’s always the chance you’ll get fired a year later, as the employer’s resentment festers).
Third - no matter what time of year it is, you should always be looking for another job, especially when you’re content in the job you are at right now. The best time to see what’s out there is when you don’t need to be. It just happens that at the end of Q4 in any year, more jobs tend to open.
My experience is that 50% of the people that interview for other jobs will find that the grass is not greener, end up staying put and are more appreciative of their current job, and that is a good thing to learn. However, I have observed that the other 50% find better jobs, with more money, with new bosses that inspire them and a company that recognizes their talents. So for some people seeking to fulfill their “aspirations and ambitions”, changing companies is the right thing to do.
Never stop looking, never stop striving to find a work environment that challenges you and lets you make great money. Not to mention a company that appreciates your contribution.
Remember, to me, whether this applies to looking for a new job or staying at an existing one, it’s not enough to just be happy at work, I think you need to feel appreciated. Do you?
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