If you’ve been in your current role for a while and can’t even remember the last time you went on a job interview, then this article may be for you. 

But changing jobs can be scary.

These tips will help you think strategically about a new search and increase the odds of your landing the perfect job. 

First, when is the “right time” to make a career move?

The answer to that one is actually pretty easy. If you are consistently bored at work or feel like you’re no longer being challenged. It could be time to launch a search.

Be honest with yourself: Has the pep in your step slowed over time?

Do you find yourself zoning out in meetings?

Has your work performance, the quality of your work product, or your productivity declined significantly? 

These are all signs that it’s time to make a move.

A less frequently asked question is whether or not there’s a right time of year to change jobs. This comes as a surprise to many, but there is! 

Allow me to introduce you to the winter job search! For many companies, their fiscal year ends in December. So they’re trying to use the last of their precious budget dollars in hopes their funds won’t be cut the following year. 

Another reason winter is the best time to search is that simply put, fewer people are out looking. It is well known amongst HR teams the world over that the bulk of hiring needs to be completed by the end of October. Come November folks start leaving town in droves. Visiting family, holiday travel, winter vacations, and pending bonus payments all take priority over snagging interviews. Those few unicorn candidates who stay on the market during the winter months are more valuable than gold. 

Where should you look for your next job? The answer to that one is short and sweet: Everywhere! Always be networking. Most companies prize in-house referrals much more highly than unknown applications because employees have an opportunity to pre-vet candidates. There’s more quality control. Many companies even offer referral bonuses to incentivize their employees to refer to well-qualified candidates.

Many firms have a mandatory interview policy for any referred applicant. This is so that employees are not discouraged by having someone they submitted ignored or instantly declined. 

Once you’ve decided to move and the search is on, it’s time to prep your resume. Place the most relevant stuff “above the fold” and the transferable or less relevant experience closer to the bottom (we’ll cover the best way to present transferable experience in another post). Finally, add a unique font and pop of color (recruiters are people too and their eyes need positive stimuli). 

After prepping your resume, it’s time to move on to the search itself.

Self-selecting roles can be a challenge. What if you don’t have 100% of what the job requires, but the role seems really interesting? 

Allow me to introduce you to the 70/30 Rule. This is when you have 70% of the job requirements and you may have a transferable experience that addresses the other 30%. 

Go ahead and apply!

I always say there are two types of hires: the experienced hire and the aptitude hire. Experienced hires can hit the ground running with very little ramp up time. This adds immediate value to the company. But experienced hires can also be unyielding and single-minded. Often, they can be myopic in their approach to problem-solving.

An aptitude hire makes up for what they lack in experience with enthusiasm, ingenuity, and a fresh perspective. Those are transferable assets that will add value to a position. 

It’s important to manage the thrill of new challenges while also mitigating the boredom of performing the same tasks. So while I do not advocate job-hopping, I encourage you to challenge yourself. 

You deserve it.