February 14, 2016

Timing for Job Shift is Strategic

The American labor economy is very good right now. The unemployment rate is at 4.9%- the lowest it has been in almost 8 years. The latest report from the US Department of Labor shows 5.6 million job openings. A lot of great companies are hiring. That could change with current global uncertainty.

Timing a job change is like knowing when to jump from the swing when you were a kid. You don’t want the wind knocked out of you, but you don’t want the swing at a standstill either.

I have recently found myself working with several persons debating whether to start looking for a new job. For one, it is a matter of when to move rather than if he should move. He has a job that pays well, but he is worried about his job security. He expects that his company will be moving his job to another country. A number of jobs have already been moved. He just doesn’t know when the company changes will affect him personally.

This happens a lot. There is always a tipping point when the personal and global economics line up to make a strategic move feasible or necessary.

Companies are constantly weighing the cost of doing business in one location versus another. Large multinational corporations slide across state and international borders almost effortlessly - in search of cheaper labor costs, lower tax rates, and reduced regulations.

My client is typical - he has to decide if he should just stay on the swing and ride it out, or if he should start looking for a good place to land.

He is actually comfortable in his current job, and there is no necessary urgency. Several companies have contacted him through LinkedIn to discuss opportunities, but it is so easy just to wait and coast. He could probably stay for a few more years, but then he will be a few years older.

The problem is two fold - how good the economy will look in two to three years, and how good will he look to potential employers in a few years.

If you are thinking that now may be time for a move, a number of things need to be factored into your decision:
  • the strength of the economy
  • the health of your industry
  • your age (yes it matters…)
  • your experience level
  • the current demand for your knowledge and skills
If you are unsettled and if you have opportunities, my best advice is to make a move before things stall out. There is no way to predict if we will be in the same screaming good labor economy in a year or two or three. Timing is everything when you decide to cut loose and fly from the swing ...