Q&A: Should I Explore Other Job Opportunities in the New Year?

Question: Many people choose the start of a new year to turn in their resignation letters and take their chances elsewhere. Is this a good time to explore other job opportunities?

Answer: A new year is often associated with new beginnings. If you’ve already been in your current job for a few years, this may seem to be an opportune moment to move on in search of new or greener pastures. Furthermore, it’s that time of the year when everyone seems to be thinking about moving on to new things.

This means that there may be more positions opening up in the near future, and this can only bode well for your search for new opportunities. And even if you are completely content with your current job, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be open to new opportunities that present themselves.

New Year, New Job

At least, that’s the mentality of many workers going into 2015. According to US job search engine SimplyHired, the first Monday after the New Year is the busiest day when it comes to job searches, and January is the busiest month. On January 5 this year, a Monday, job searches were up 56 per cent from the December average.

In addition, while the last quarter of the year is generally a slower time for the job market, things tend to ramp up in January of a new year. For companies who follow a calendar year financial schedule, new budgets are often allocated in January, which can mean more available funding for new positions and more opportunities for you. The New Year is a catalyst for change. If you’re bent on seeking out a new job, you would do well to take advantage of this period of positive change, movement and new openings to see if there is something that catches your eye.

Employed, But Available

On the other hand, you may be uncomfortable – a completely reasonable sentiment – with leaving your job before you have found a new one. To add on, it can take a huge amount of effort to move out of your comfort zone and many people simply lack the motivation to actively search for a new job. If you fall into this category, you are what recruiters term a passive jobseeker – someone who is employed but still receptive to new opportunities and experiences. Employers like passive jobseekers. These are the people who are currently gaining productive experience at their current company.

Furthermore, the fact that you are unwilling to quit before finding a new job is indicative of a strong work ethic – you are a productive, serious worker – which companies on the lookout for new talent are likely to appreciate. Ultimately, regardless of whether you want to dedicate all your time and resources to your job search or remain in your current job, you should never close the door on any potential opportunity. Quitting your job is risky, especially in uncertain economic times, but you don’t have to quit to cast a line out for new endeavours. Opportunities pay no heed to the time of the year – you should always be willing to explore new experiences and challenges, and the start of a new year is as good a time to begin as any.

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