This new year is quickly shaping up to be the best time, in a very long time, to change roles, companies and even change sectors. On the one hand there are more vacancies naturally occurring around any new year as people are spurred on toward change (resigning or quitting) by the ‘temporal milestone’ of a New Year – A.K.A ‘the fresh start effect’.

Why now is the best time

Historically, January marks the peak time for new positions being applied for.  However, what makes 2018 even more exciting for those looking to further pursue their career prospects is the economic environment. According to the Guardian Business section, “Employment has now been growing for 14 months straight – the best run since the early 1990s. (Just under 300,000) more people have begun working full-time – a 3.8% annual increase that is as good as we’ve seen for nearly 30 years. You have to go back to 1989 to find annual full-time employment growth faster than we are currently experiencing.”

Sydney and Melbourne are experiencing continued jobs growth, with their respective state governments’ investing heavily in major public infrastructure programs. Where we do see contraction, like with retail and media, it’s being offset by cross-sector movements and opportunities in other industries.

“A lot of organisations are expanding and it’s a bit of a seller’s market if you’re in the private sector. 2018 is going to be a great year to change jobs or even careers.”  Corinne Mills, MD of Personal Career Management

Top reasons people want change

There are a few reasons, but the top five appear to be

  1. They’ve been in their role too long for fear of not being able to find another suitable role for them.
  2. There’s no way forward or upward in their current company
  3. They’re bored or unchallenged, or both
  4. They want to work with an organisation with a better culture and better work conditions.
  5. The like their job, but they dislike their managers or boss

Top tips for successful change

Figuring out why your dissatisfied in your current role (what you don’t want) will help you define what it is you do want. It’s also worth considering which roles will be in demand over the next decade and how your skills may fit.

  • Go to events, seminars and talks and set up informational interviews
  • If you want to change sectors, focus on “transferable skills” – you’ll have more than you realise
  • Time – People often fix on a bright and shiny new career without a period of reflection
  • Turn your job hunt on its head and look for people not jobs. Consider who you want to work with, not for 
  • Start acting like you’re part of the industry you want to work in
  • Speak to headhunters, “Seventy five percent of jobs aren’t advertised… this is precisely the sort of role you should be looking for and will be considered for.”  Simon Meyer, CEO FutureYou
  • Speak with your contacts and ask your friends if they know people in the sector you want to work in; your personal networks are invaluable
  • Don’t neglect smaller companies either. They’re often growing fast and have much less rigid entry requirements than the big household names. This is particularly helpful if you’re changing sectors.
  • If you are changing careers, you will not be the number one candidate for the job, so you need to make yourself stand out and put in a bit of effort. This means getting up from your laptop and going out into the real world.

Endlessly researching careers you might like online gives a feeling of fake productivity in the short term, and hopelessness in the long term. 

Your takeaway from this to-do list

The top three things that will be most beneficial to you in your job or career change is consideration, networks, and specialists. Start with whichever one is easier for you and built from there, but make the decision, back yourself, know that the timing is fantastic –  and that there are a lot of people who will support and direct your decision. 

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