Looking for a new job in 2023? We understand, it can be intimidating. While the job market stayed relatively strong and unemployment remained low in 2022, a recession may still be looming. A Fortune article predicts there may be an increase in layoffs in 2023, but the job opportunities will remain abundant. Chief economist at Glassdoor, Aaron Terrazas, is optimistic about the market remaining strong but also states that it is “increasingly difficult to characterize the labor market in a single breath in 2023”. Goldman Sachs, Adam Blandin (assistant professor of economics at Vanderbilt University), Carin Van Vuuren (chief marketing officer at Greenhouse) and many others support this idea.
Knowing whether you should make a move from your current role can be a tough call, and even though the market is still looking favorable, your dream company may not have an open position that matches your skill set and/or experience level. And if you are unemployed or underemployed, finding the right fit and knowing your worth when you need work can be a challenge.
If you are considering a job change, these 5 tips can help provide some direction — despite the state of the job market.
1. Decide on a realistic job search timeline and stick to it
Recent data shows the average time it takes to find a job is about 5 months. Of course, there are many factors that play into this number including your industry, skills and experience level.
With that said, you are the boss of your job search. Whether it’s responsibilities at your current job, schoolwork or time with family and friends, it’s important to be realistic about how much time you can commit to finding your next position. On top of that, the idea of changing and applying for jobs can come with natural anxiety and hesitation. Beginning your search by setting a structure, boundaries and a timeline can help alleviate a lot of stress that commonly creeps in. As you set your goals for browsing what’s out there, applying and hopefully interviewing, having a timeline from the start can keep you on track, even as life happens. Project management apps like Notion, Trello and Asana can help you time block, set realistic goals and track progress.
2. Figure out what you want to run to, not from
There’s a decent chance you are reading this blog because you already have a feeling there is a job out there that’s a better fit than your current role. But it’s also true the grass is not always greener on the other side.
“Are you running to or running from? If you’re running from something, is that fixable at your current company?” says Horizontal Regional Vice President Kevin Erickson.
Situations can change quickly. It’s important to understand why your current situation is not working and what can realistically be done about it if you do enjoy other aspects of your company or job. If you’re just looking to see what’s out there or know it’s time to go, do your due diligence and think hard about what you want in your next role. Where do you want to be 5 to 10 years down the road? What do you want your company to stand for outside of what they do? What kinds of traits are you looking for in a manager and a team? And don’t just think through it alone. Talk to friends, family and colleagues you trust to gather their thoughts on what paths may be out there and what their experiences have been in applying for new roles. You can also talk to a recruiter and discover what opportunities are currently available and align with your skills that you may not be aware of.
3. Know your salary range
Understanding what your job worth is can be tricky – especially these days. A Barron’s report on December 28th stated workers will receive real wage gains. Wages were lower than inflation last year but when inflation cooled, wage growth didn’t. This means you may be surprised by just how much you can ask for when negotiating your salary.
Bottom line, if you find a role and a company that has good potential, don’t be scared to apply and don’t be scared to ask for what you’re worth. Just make sure to do your research and seek out multiple sources regarding salary information.
4. Make a list of perks, benefits and company culture traits
Show me the money? More like show me the happiness!
Just like life, there is a lot more to a job than money. Dollar signs never hurt, unless they blind you from what really matters – which, of course, is completely up to you. Some people value work-life balance, the ability to spend time with family, flexible work hours, remote/hybrid options and generous paid time off. Others may be at a point where they are willing to work longer hours to help grow their career and potentially receive equity in the company. Of course, health benefits, a 401k match, pet insurance, the value a company places on diversity, equity and inclusion and the mission of leadership are all valuable aspects to consider in your job search.
“I had a candidate turn down a job that paid him $30,000 more because he felt the other job offered better leadership, better culture and a bigger path to grow and develop,” says Jeff Seebinger, Horizontal Regional Vice President.
5. Think about your career path
Like Fleetwood Mac once said, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”
As nice as it can be to capitalize on a favorable salary in a great market, landing a job that puts you on a path to achieving your future goals is something that cannot be understated. In fact, one of the key areas hiring managers look for is how committed you will be to their cause. Attracting and retaining talented people who have a passion for their work will never go out of style, no matter where the job market is. If you’re serious about making a move, it’s essential to ask yourself if this is a company you can see yourself at for a while and if it’s a place you can thrive.
“When it comes to retention, recognition is big,” says Seebinger. “Find out what the company does to acknowledge and recognize the achievements of their employees.”
Developmental opportunities are also key.
“Upskilling, open and honest conversations about your development, real-time communication and customizing plans are all incredibly important (from an employer perspective) when it comes to attracting the best talent in such a competitive market,” says Erickson. “Good managers will not take a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring in 2023.”
Transitioning roles is a big decision. Ultimately, go with your gut. Before you decide to remain in your current position or transition into a new role, do your research, have meaningful conversations about your opportunities and think through what you want.
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