Guide to Knowing When to Change Jobs

Changing jobs is a big decision that requires careful planning and research. You need to consider your personal situation, your career goals and the market trends. You don't want to miss out on opportunities, but you also don't want to jump ship too soon.

In this blog post, we'll help you figure out when to change jobs and when to stay. We'll look at the pros and cons of different scenarios and give you some tips on how to prepare for a successful transition. Whether you're looking for a new challenge, a better fit or a higher salary, we'll guide you through the process of finding the right time to make your move.

Should I change jobs before or after the New Year?

Men packing his things as he is leaving the company

Because of this troublesome year-end bonus, every year-end and the beginning of the year are the peak seasons for changing jobs. Especially during the two months after the Spring Festival, after a period of rest and career reflection, more people begin to explore opportunities. At the same time, HR departments have accumulated numerous job openings, so the job market will quickly reach its peak in the 1-2 weeks after the Spring Festival and remain active for almost two months.

Prime Season

Generally, March and April are indeed the “Golden Season” for changing jobs, but we need to understand the essence of this celebration.

People who blindly believe in the above that March and April are the “Golden Season” for changing jobs haven't thought it through; this principle applies to both the supply and demand sides of the job market. There are many positions available, and there are also many job seekers. 

The significance of the job-changing peak season lies in the abundance of information exchange. During this time, job seekers and companies come together, engage in extensive communication, and significantly reduce the adverse effects of information asymmetry. 

This is especially beneficial for relatively niche positions where candidates have limited opportunities and find it difficult to meet their requirements. If you aim for a higher salary increase or a career breakthrough, you should consider the seemingly less exciting year-end season. 

After all, during the year-end, you can negotiate your start date, take an appropriate "annual leave," and possibly secure a new house at a lower price during the off-season (unless your new job is far from your current residence).

The Most Important Aspect in Job Hunting

women hiring

If you are concerned about having fewer options at year-end and compromising due to financial reasons, you can focus on excelling in your current job and make future plans after the New Year.

However, in reality, there is no such thing as the golden season for changing jobs. The most crucial factor is you, the job seeker, as different months are just one of the considerations when changing jobs. It is more important to consider your long-term career development needs and choose the right time for yourself.

When Should You Consider Changing Jobs

You should consider changing jobs in the following five situations:

1. Unable to Identify With The Company's Values and Culture

If you cannot resonate with the company's values and culture, I believe you shouldn't force yourself to stay. Even if you remain, your work won't go smoothly.

2. Conflicts With Your Immediate Supervisor Become Unmanageable 

Regardless of the reasons, once such a toxic relationship is established, your future at the company will be challenging, let alone considering career development. You need to understand that since your supervisor is in charge, they essentially control your development, and such relationships are not easily changed.

3. Unable to Acquire New Knowledge or Skills

If you are unable to break through or grow in your job, even if you continue for another three years, the outcome may remain the same. It's better to leave sooner, change your mindset, and look for opportunities elsewhere.

4. Too Familiar with The Job Processes After Working for Many Years

When you are as familiar as you can be with the people and things around you, such as performance assessments, and can find multiple ways to manipulate them, it might be time to consider changing jobs. How many five or eight years does one have in life? If you continue in this state, you might become stagnant. Of course, some people may enjoy this state, and there's nothing wrong with that.

5. Not Given a Raise For Two years

If you work hard, and the company is making a profit, you should receive a raise. If the company hasn't given you a raise for two years, and they still don't agree when you request one, it's probably time to leave.

When You Should Not Change Jobs

Women putting her hand up signalling to wait

In the following situations, it's not suitable to change jobs:

1. If You Worked at the Company For Less Than Two Years.

Especially for the management and executives of a company, as a leader and manager in a company, after undergoing multiple rounds of interviews and communications, if you've already made the choice to join, leaving at this point is not only of little value but can also impact your future career development.

2. If You Can't Manage Interpersonal Relationships Well

Workplace interpersonal issues are everywhere because you cannot guarantee that after changing jobs, you'll definitely get along well with colleagues at another company. What you're experiencing now is what you'll face in the future.

3. When The Company Is Spending Money To Train You For Promotion

If the company is willing to invest in your development, it means you are worth developing. In both public and private contexts, you should focus on learning, and continuous improvement, and avoid changing jobs at this time. 

Even if you switch to a new company, it doesn't guarantee that you'll have a similar opportunity, and you'll need to go through a 3-6 month probationary and adaptation period. This could lead to missed learning opportunities and potentially result in a situation where all your efforts go to waste.

Key Timing For Changing Jobs

searching for jobs

So, when is the best time to change jobs? Regardless of changing jobs at year-end or during the “Golden Season” in March and April it's often driven by financial incentives such as year-end bonuses and vacation time. Over time, these two periods have become the prime seasons for job changes. However, the key timing for changing jobs is still based on two factors:

1. Whether The Current Trend Suits You

When the industry, trends, and investors are focusing on a particular field, when a company is entering a period of rapid growth or is about to enter one, or when the sunrise industries are emerging, these are the times when you should take the opportunity to get involved and elevate your career quickly.

2. Whether You Are Well-Prepared

Being well-prepared doesn't mean you need a foolproof plan; such preparations often delay taking action. You can start by asking yourself a few questions: Under normal circumstances, how confident are you in taking the action to change jobs? On a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being fully prepared and 0 being unprepared, where do you stand? As long as your level of preparation exceeds the challenge level, it's the best time to embark on the journey.

In Summary

In conclusion, the best time to consider changing jobs isn't solely dictated by the calendar. While year-end bonuses and peak seasons can be tempting, the key timing for a job change depends on whether the industry trends align with your goals and if you are well-prepared for the transition. Ultimately, it's essential to focus on your long-term career development needs and make the move when you feel confident and ready.