When you’re ready to quit your job and move on, one of the most difficult things to do is wait. It feels like once you’ve made the decision, the only thing you want to do is carry it out, but that might be the exact wrong thing to do when you’re facing the end of the year.
Instead, before you make the leap, it’s important to think about the best time to quit your job: is it now or is it in the New Year?
There’s no doubt that working in a job you hate can feel even worse over the holidays. First, remember that you’re not alone. According to a report by the Conference Board research group, about 52% of Americans are unhappy at work, and that number only seems to be increasing. So, if you’re thinking about quitting at the end of the year because you don’t want to be the only one miserable, think again.
Don’t let the holiday season push you into a decision that you’ll later regret.
Dos and Don’ts of the Best Time to Quit Your Job
Before you quit your job in December, consider if it’s really the best time to quit your job or if there are better options. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider before you give your resignation.
Do wait until after your performance review.
Your end-of-the-year performance review is a valuable tool that you don’t want to miss out on receiving. Not only can your review help you in your career and your future job search, but you can also use it as an opportunity to signal to your current employer that you’re unhappy. In this way, you can use the review both for prized insight and as an opportunity to give feedback, so your company is appraised of your feelings and unsurprised of your eventual decision to quit.
Who knows, your performance review might also change your decision if your boss responds to your feedback in a positive way—adjusting your job or responsibilities to better fit your expectations. Also, bonuses are typically given out around this time a year as well, don’t quit before you get your bonus.
Don’t forget time off.
The best time to quit your job is not when you’re about to have a bunch of time off for the holidays. More likely than not, you probably have some vacation you need to use before it expires at the end of the year or you have days off scheduled for the holidays. With all this time off, it’s rarely a good idea to quit. Instead, take advantage of the time away from work to up your job search.
Do consider that the holiday season is a prime job search season.
The holidays are a prime season for job searching, which doesn’t necessarily translate into the best time to quit your job. During this time many candidates take a break from the job market, but it’s actually one of the best times to continue your hunt.
When you job hunt during the holidays, your competition is low but your opportunities are high. It’s the perfect time of the year to connect with your contacts and network at holiday parties, through holiday greeting cards, and at various events. And while job hiring might be low at this time, it’s the ideal time to prep your resume, update your LinkedIn, and start reaching out to potential employers for the New Year.
Don’t forget about new company budgets and hiring cycles.
On January 1, 2019, most companies will kick off their budgets for the new year, which can make a big difference when it comes to recruiting and hiring opportunities. Most of the time, companies will feel more confident about extending job offers in the new year when they know that they can afford staff. This also means you have a better chance of a higher salary by waiting until after the holidays.
Also, remember that hiring cycles in December can be very slow. Employers are reluctant to take on new staff when vacations, days off, and general holiday busyness can get in the way of training and onboarding. However, January and February are big months for hiring when everyone tends to be back in the office and ready to kick off the new year on a strong note.
Job Hunting Tips for 2019
If you decide to wait to quit until after the new year, here are a few job hunting tips for 2019 to ensure you find success.
- Establish a robust LinkedIn presence. Future employers will look you up online. Make sure your LinkedIn is set up to work for you when recruiters search out who you are. Also, you can use LinkedIn to help you land a new job by using it to demonstrate your personal brand, skills, and thought leadership.
- Develop your brand. Most people spend too much time trying to sell themselves as the ideal employee through generic means. Instead, figure out who you are as a brand—what are your biggest professional achievements—and then distill that down to a vision of who you are that you can sell to employers.
- Connect to your network. During the holidays, start making a list of all the people you know and the companies where you want to work. Then, use the holidays as a perfect excuse to start reaching out and wishing old colleagues, classmates, and friends a happy holidays season. Then, in the new year, use those connections to implement your 2019 job search. There’s never a bad time for networking.
- Update your resume and cover letter. A generic cover letter and resume won’t get you anywhere. Instead, you need to make a statement with your resume that stands out with level-setting, value proposition, and professional branding.
When you’re ready for a new job, don’t just jump overboard before you have a plan. Instead, take time to consider when it’s the best time to quit your job and then take advantage of our job hunting tips for 2019 to ensure your success.