Found at the top of many a list come January are the words “find a new job.” The resolution is a perennial favorite appearing year after year. It generally occupies a highly-ranked slot if it is on the list, but what are your odds of successfully achieving it?
Regardless of the importance you assign the goal at the start of the year, unless you take time to chart your course, it will inevitably appear in next year’s New Year’s resolutions, also.
If you plan to make a career move in 2019, the shotgun approach to blasting your resume during the first week of January may mean you get lost in the deluge. HR and Talent Acquisition departments are flooded with resumes at the start of each year.
Additionally, many of your competitors did what you may have done over the holiday break and updated their resumes. You will find there are more people than ever competing for few roles in a very narrow month-long timeframe.
The odds of success in this scenario are not high. Unless you are the perfectly obvious fit for a role currently open for recruitment, you may be lost in the volume. If you are applying for a specific job, you will need to make your qualifications abundantly clear in order to avoid being passed over by an overwhelmed recruiter.
Budget considerations always come into play regardless of what time of year it is. However, recruitment funds can be low in January for companies that operate on a mid-calendar fiscal year. Organizations often wait for the start of a fresh budget before they embark on new hiring, and this may or may not correlate with the calendar year. If you are targeting an organization rather than a specific position, find out if they operate on a calendar or fiscal year, and time your approach accordingly for the best result.
Financial compensation structure for the companies in which you are interested also merits thought. Depending on the industry, bonuses are often paid out in the first quarter of a new year. Incumbents will wait to move on until they have received expected payouts. This behavior results in job openings later in the year instead.
All this means your career plan should be the catalyst for a job change in the New Year, not the flip of a calendar month. Rather than expecting to jump ship in January, take the time now to thoroughly think through what the next step in your security career looks like. Explore whether your employer’s organization chart offers you a path forward or whether your prospects for advancement lie elsewhere.
If you decide to move on from your current employer, identify companies that have security programs that will support your long-term career goals. Assess how they function and determine the best time to make your approach. It may be now, or it may be mid-year dependent on their structure.
There is no perfect time of year to change jobs. However, you can increase your odds of checking off “find a new job” this year if you take time now to chart a successful course for it.