• Work Life Journal

The best time to find a new job is now

During the holiday season, many of us take time out from work to travel, relax and unwind. With a refreshed mind, body and spirit, reflection is inescapable: we think of the year that’s passed, as well as our aspirations for the year ahead of us. We often contemplate the habits we’ve established and the job we have. Can we bear another year of this? Are we accepting this way of life as our forever plan? Is this the life we want?

The start of a new year often sparks optimism and hope that this year will be better than the last. That this year we will be happier than we have been. For many of us, our job is often our main source income; but it may also be the main source of stress. Declining levels of mental wellbeing – particularly depression and anxiety – are often related to or caused by our work or workplaces. This is often exacerbated by feeling trapped in our jobs, either because of the financial security it provides, or because we feel we can’t find another comparable job. Let’s face it, job hunting is not so easy for certain professions, where there may be limited or seasonal opportunities.

The good news is that now is the best time to be looking for a new job. In January 2020, the Australian job advertisements grew almost 4% from the previous month. In the USA, unemployment rates are at an all-time low of 3.5% and there was an average of 100,000 new jobs advertised each month since September 2019. In the UK, for October to December 2019, there were 805,000 job vacancies, or 2.7 job vacancies per 100 employee jobs across the country. This number is down, compared with the previous three months, and even the year prior.

There are a number of key factors that may increase your chances of finding a great new job right now, including:

1. Timing

Job advertisements are in peak season right now. Employers are open to employing permanent, full-time roles at this point in the year as their budgets have been secured and the work programs for the year are just commencing. What this means for you is that your options are broadened by the influx of job ads. It also means that your chances of securing a job may also be stronger, due to the supply/demand ratios.

2. Mindset

If you’ve had time off work over the holiday season, a break from your usual routine and the general pressures of the workplace, enable you to distance yourself from the situation. Your mind is given a chance to replenish its energy and insight, which encourages emotional and cognitive renewal and strength. Have you ever found yourself notably refreshed with new thoughts or ideas when you’ve distanced yourself from work for a while? This is exactly what I am talking about. Your mindset shifts from accepting the battles or dissatisfaction you may have been entrenched in, instead to accepting the possibilities for change.

Mindset is a powerful mechanism that will enable you to change your situation, your job or even entire life course. The first step is acknowledging that you are dissatisfied with the status quo and giving yourself permission to let go and move on.

While we may encounter barriers, difficult situations or people in our jobs that inflict pressure or negative energy upon us, it is important to reflect on and focus on the achievements and accolades that you have accomplished. What amazing work did you perform? What great skills did you acquire or further develop? What major projects did you deliver? Round up your achievements and claim them. You’re going need to muster up all of your positive runs and highlight them in your job application…or better yet, talk them up at your job interview!

3. Current employment status

If you are currently employed, the odds are stacked in your favor! Applications for new jobs are far more attractive to a new employer when candidates are currently employed. It assures the employer that you are stable, employable, and that your skills are current. Also in your favor is the fact that your income is still coming in which gives you time to find the right new job, without being pressured to secure any job for the sake of paying the bills. Leverage this to secure your great new job and also to negotiate remuneration and conditions, as this give


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