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The Holidays Are Coming Up… And So Is Your Next Job!

Dear Stephen,

As we draw closer to Thanksgiving and prepare for the holiday season, it's that time of year when I begin contemplating whether I should switch jobs or perhaps explore what other opportunities might be available.

I view myself as very aspirational and ambitious. I am eager to advance my career and desire to increase my income. Annually, as part of my New Year's resolution, I ponder, "How can I move closer to my personal and career goals?" Currently, it seems to be a candidate-driven market, and I see no downside in seeking new opportunities in Q4, aiming to secure a new position by Q1 of 2024.

What are your thoughts, Stephen?

It appears that hiring is rampant, and each time a colleague resigns for a new role, our boss, keen to retain them, offers a raise. Therefore, I believe there's no harm in job hunting while maintaining my current position, even if I ultimately decide to stay. If my boss learns that I'm interviewing elsewhere, I doubt there would be anger—more likely, nervousness!

Our sales team has met our goal for this year, so I expect a bonus in mid-January. While I enjoy my work, my nature drives me to seek advancement and success continually. Ultimately, I'm curious if there's a role or company out there that could challenge me further and improve my skills as a sales manager. Do you have any advice for someone looking to progress their career in the new year?


Aspirational and Ambitious

Dear A & A,

Now is not only an opportune time to consider other job prospects but also an excellent moment in the global job market to start your search! This is due to the high demand for competent employees at every level, and you're right—the hiring dynamic is currently controlled by the employees!

However, I anticipate a shift in our industry in the second half of 2024. You're hearing it from me first: while employees and prospective hires may currently have the upper hand, this will likely change as we progress through the year of 2024. This is not an economic forecast—I'm not attempting to emulate Jerome Powell—but rather a prediction on hiring and employee compensation trends based on observable patterns. Employers acknowledge that their staff is struggling with inflation, necessitating raises to compensate, yet sales revenue hasn't kept up with these escalating costs. Consequently, hiring is expected to decelerate, and salary increments will halt in 2024.

Here's why this is one of the best times to be receptive to new job opportunities:

Firstly, a significant number of employees will resign after receiving their end-of-year bonuses in 2023. By initiating your job search now, you position yourself favorably for any upcoming vacancies, as companies will have your resume on file and familiarity with you, simplifying their decision-making process.

Secondly, employers are currently eager to retain valuable staff, meaning there's minimal risk in exploring options. What's the worst that could happen? You receive a counteroffer and are content to stay. However, beware of potential future repercussions associated with counteroffers.

Thirdly, irrespective of the season, you should always be on the lookout for new roles, particularly when you're satisfied with your current job. The ideal time to survey the job market is when you're not in urgent need, and coincidentally, job openings tend to surge at the end of Q4 annually.

From my experience, half of those who interview elsewhere realize their current job is preferable and return with renewed gratitude. Yet, for the other half, a change leads to better positions, higher pay, and a workplace that values and inspires them. For individuals pursuing their "aspirations and ambitions," a company switch may be the correct path.

Continue to search and strive for a work environment that challenges you and compensates you well, all the while valuing your contributions.

Remember, in my view, it's insufficient to merely enjoy your job; feeling appreciated is also crucial. Do you feel that way?