The summer months are notoriously slow for the job market, with many people away from their desks and enjoying the warm weather and family time. Of course, this is generally followed by one of the busiest times of year for moving jobs, as those who have spent their summer break taking stock of their career satisfaction and reflecting on their work/life balance return home either dreading going back to a role they don't enjoy or with an invigorated sense of purpose and a drive to seek promotion and career development. Either way, this generally causes much staff turnover during September and, therefore, can create opportunities for job seekers.
However, with spiralling interest rates and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, will the end of 2023 be different, and will this likely affect whether September is still a good time to look for a new role? Are workers likely to quit in an unstable economy, or has job security become too important? And perhaps more importantly, are companies hiring now?
The realities of the job market
While it's true that there is uncertainty about the global economic outlook, the UK employment rate was estimated to be 0.2% higher between February and April 2023 than it was from November 2022 to January 2023. In addition, during the last quarter, the number of people in employment increased to a record high.
It is also worth recognising that as the country continues to recover from the lasting effects of the pandemic, companies are finally starting to see a return to 'normal' levels of employment, which have flip-flopped between over-hiring, mass quitting and hiring freezes over the past three years. This resuming of normality can bring more significant opportunities for job seekers, as businesses who have previously streamlined to stabilise their budgets may now be looking ahead to re-growth.
In addition, some industries are seeing rapid growth, with many tech and marketing tech roles in high demand. In a recent survey, the top skills for 2023 included data analysis, software development and user experience, suggesting that opportunities for professionals in these areas could be more abundant.
The job market is in better shape than it might first appear, giving people the confidence to move jobs and creating a buoyant market with opportunities for those looking to move after their summer break.
Focus on why you want to change jobs
Another critical consideration when deciding if now is a good time to make a career move is why you are looking to change jobs. Job satisfaction is a significant contributing factor to good mental health and well-being, so regardless of the economy or job market, it could still be the right time for you.
Factors to consider:
Opportunity - One of the most common reasons for a job change. Has an opportunity presented itself? If so, you might not want to miss out and hinder your career and personal development.
Growth – If you have plateaued in your current role, it might seem like there are no further opportunities to grow and learn. This can lead to feeling unfulfilled and disengaged at work, indicating it could be a good time to move on.
Remuneration – It's not always about finding a role that pays more money, although they do exist for talented candidates, but your salary and benefits should be a fair reflection of how a company value and respect your contribution and if you feel under-valued with no sign of negotiating a better package it could be time to look for a new employer.
Sector – Do you work in a growing industry? As mentioned above, if you work in tech or other thriving sectors, the opportunities available are likely to be far more significant for those with the right skillset, so now could be a great time to seek a new role and perhaps even a promotion.
Culture – Are you considering changing jobs to a more positive environment? Perhaps a company with better D,E & I or CSR policies or a workplace that offers more learning and development opportunities, better work/life balance or more autonomy. If you don't feel comfortable being your authentic self at work, moving to an organisation with a more aligned culture fit could resolve this.
As summer slips away, a shift is underway in the job market. New beginnings could be on the horizon for those who've been mulling over their career path while enjoying some downtime. It's a mix of personal aspirations and uncertain economic times, making career switches a big decision.
The job landscape is looking up, with more job opportunities in the mix. Growing industries and skills in demand add colour to the options. Amid all this change, one question stands out: "Is now the time?".
If you have returned from holiday thinking about changing roles or if your company has vacancies to fill as you look towards re-growth, contact Creative Recruitment and find out how our expert recruiters can help you.