Is It Crazy To Change Jobs Right Now If You Don’t Have To?

The current economic climate brought on by the Covid situation has led to a very challenging employment market. Many people have already lost their jobs and there will be many more redundancies to come. With unemployment growing, many people are between jobs.

From the many clients I have seen since lockdown ended, people who are looking for new jobs mainly seem to fall into one of two categories.

Those who have been made redundant: People who have been made redundant often feel a sense of frustration or anger, and a sense of urgency to move on quickly. When they come to see me as clients, they need help to work out what to do next. Our conversations are often less about getting the best job, and more about simply getting ‘a job’. They need CVs and Cover Letters that are going to be ‘door openers’ for getting them job interviews. 

Those who are employed but want to change jobs: This entirely different group of clients are the ones who have surprised me the most. Being in lockdown seems to have given people time to reflect on their work and career. The result has been that many have now decided to change jobs for one reason or another, but not because they have been forced into it. Rather that they have decided that changing jobs is their best option right now for a number of reasons.

  • They’re ready to move to the next stage in their careers
  • They want to leave a challenging work environment
  • They want to explore ways to make things work better
  • They are looking to be stretched more
  • They want to change the direction that their career is going in

When they started to turn up at my office, they wanted to:

  • Discuss what they should do next and the kind of jobs they might move to
  • Learn how they could position themselves and be more strategic with their next move
  • Get advice about how to smarten up their CVs and Cover Letters so they could stand out from the pack
  • Get advice for setting up and using LinkedIn for more strategic advantage

Most felt very confident that they would find new jobs, and some had already resigned from existing jobs.

Nothing about what they needed was unusual. I wasn’t surprised about whether they were actually ready to move or not. I was surprised that they were considering moving at all given the significant challenges that I could see in the employment market. The two questions I wondered most about were these:

Is this actually the best time to make a change when you are in a secure job?

Do you realise that you will be competing with so many others for the jobs you apply for?

I wasn’t surprised about whether they were actually ready to move or not. I was surprised that they were considering moving at all given the significant challenges that I could see in the employment market.

After seeing quite a few clients in this situation, I realised that I needed to rethink my initial surprise. People were considering changing jobs at this time in spite of the significant challenges in the employment market.

I decided that I needed to look at the situation more carefully, in order to get a better perspective on whether this was a good time to change jobs or not, and if it might be better to wait until the current situation settled down somewhat. I didn’t get a simple, clear answer either way, but I did come to appreciate some of the factors that might be useful to consider before you decide to change jobs. Some of these are outlined below.

Applying for jobs in the current market

There are a lot of people on the market for jobs right now, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. The significant demand for jobs reflects a rising unemployment rate coupled with many New Zealanders returning home from overseas who are also looking for jobs. 

This makes it a particularly challenging time to be job hunting. I have heard about many job advertisements receiving applications from 700-1500 people.

If you are looking for work, you need to be aware that you could be competing with significant numbers of others when you apply for jobs.

The sheer number of applicants can see recruiters quite stretched timewise to be able to process candidates. I have been told that it is not uncommon for a recruiter to only allow 15-20 seconds for the initial review of each applicant’s CV and Cover Letter.

That doesn’t give a lot of time for them to find out who are and what you bring. Which is why first impressions and good layout matter so much.  

Not all industries are the same

There is a long time still to go until the full effects of Covid will be felt or even the workplace trends properly understood. For some industries, the impact has been short-lived and things are picking up relatively quickly now that lockdown has ended. Industries at the other end of the spectrum have been decimated and are facing long-term challenges.

There will be significant job losses in some sectors, and increasing demand for employees in other sectors.  

There is no doubt that the particular industry you are part of will make a big difference to the demand for your skills and the opportunities that are available to you.

Things to consider before deciding to change jobs

Step Back: If you are currently employed, but considering other options, it would be wise to step back and take a good look at both the industry you are currently working in, and alternative areas you might be thinking about moving to.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How has this industry been affected? How is it likely to be affected in the future?
  • Will there be job opportunities moving forward?
  • Where are they likely to be?
  • Will it be easy to find jobs that use my particular skills and strengths, or will it be difficult?

To answer the last question with any degree of certainty, you need to have a clear understanding of your skill set, including both those that are ‘industry specific’, and those that are transferable.

What’s driving the move? You should give some thought to understanding what your actual motivation is to change jobs.

What is the particular thing or things that are driving you to consider alternative employment right now?

Being very clear around the drivers for change will help you better assess if you should make a move now, or whether you’d be better to wait until the things settle down a bit.

Explore existing options: Have you explored your options fully where you are now before making a move? Many employers want to keep good employees so might be willing to discuss alternatives within your current organisation.

Ready to go or not: Are you actually ready to change jobs? By that I mean have you made the most of all the opportunities you have in your current job? Could you take on more responsibilities, or develop more skills before you move?  Adding to your skill set could open up opportunities for career advancement.

Answering these questions can be difficult, especially if you are already invested in making a change. But it might be difficult to find a better opportunity than the one you currently have now.  Factor into the mix that you are likely to be competing for new roles with many other people.

There appear to be a lot of job opportunities in some industries. If that’s where your interest lies, then this could be a great time to explore options and make a move.

So really, it’s up to you to work out if this is a good time to move or not.  The key is to be smart and base your decision on a careful analysis of the situation as it relates to you.

If you’d like help to:

  • Work out if this is good time to move or not
  • Shape up a winning CV
  • Develop your job search strategy
  • Think about what you actually want to do next...

Give me a call and book in for an appointment. You don’t need to feel stuck and uncertain about what to do next.