5 Reasons NOT to change your job in January

I know - January is one of the busiest times for recruitment and a time when people think “new year - new job - new opportunity.” So it may seem odd to recommend that you should stop looking for a job right now and rethink your career strategy?

And here’s why:

1. Your perception may be distorted

During the Christmas / New Year holiday break we do have a habit of reflecting on work, life and the future. This might be conscious reflection as we think about what we have achieved so far and where we want to go. On the other hand it could just be a subconscious niggle at the back of our mind - especially as that return to work date starts looming (reminiscent of back to school?).

During these reflections our expectations of what our life should look like seems to expand yet our perception of what it is actually like suddenly shrinks. Maybe it’s because we are having a great time with family and friends (or maybe not) but for many people, going back to work after the holiday period, is disappointing and they want to shake things up. So, the first choice is to start looking for a new job - but before you do stop and take another look at your current job / employer. It may be that your perception of its potential is a little off and…

2. You can improve the job you are in

Now, if you are feeling frustrated and looking for a change the chances are your colleagues, and your boss, are feeling the same way! So what would happen if you all decided to work together, and harness that energy, to improve your current roles, responsibilities and opportunities

Depending on your position in the company, and the team, this might seem like a huge step - but before you dust off your CV speak to people you trust and see if there are any like minded people out there who feel the same way as you, maybe have some ideas of their own and would like to be part of the change.

3. Your mental and emotional state may affect your interview performance

If you return to work feeling negative about your job, career options and / the future in general this will probably affect how you come across at interviews. Whenever I have interview people in January I have noticed that people tend to be more critical about their employers, or respond negatively to some questions, which isn't what interviewers want to hear. Combine a poor performance with higher competition (see point 4) and your chance of landing that dream job will be dramatically reduced.

4. The competition will be higher

If you decide to go ahead and change your job in January be prepared. Because the whole world seems to think that January is the best time to find a new job it is also the most competitive! Having worked in the recruitment industry and HR for many years I can confirm that January was one of our peak periods of activity.

As a recruiter the number of jobs on the books increased - but also the number of applications. Unfortunately these increases were often out of sync so we had far more applicants for each job which meant that the employers could really pick and choose. it also made it harder for applicants to negotiate a better remuneration package. So, if you look for a job in January you have to have an excellent CV and be able to ace those interviews!!

5. Being proactive is always better than being reactive

Whenever you decide to move on in your career having a planned exit strategy is always the best way - this will help you to check that you are leaving at the right time. The best approach is to go when you have completed a key project or process cycle so that you can show new employers how you have added value to the organisation - and how the role has added value to your development. As well as impressing a potential employer you will also leave your current employer on a positive note - and you should never burn bridges as you may need to cross them again in the future!!

So, before you dust off your CV and start registering with job boards and recruitment agencies take a deep breathe and make sure that any move is going to be the right move - and at the right time!