Futuregazing: The Importance of Putting Your 2024 Plans into Action Now
- October 18, 2023
With the darker nights noticeably creeping in, and the shops already stocked with Christmas paraphernalia, the final push towards the end of the year is upon us. This last quarter is often a period where many businesses and individuals will be making firm plans for the following calendar year, setting budgets and agreeing business objectives. And for many, (especially those with a three months’ notice period) – consideration of the ‘c-word’ is also likely. Not ‘Christmas’ per se…but career – what it looks like and where it is heading in the new year.
The so-called mid-career career blues happen to everyone at some point or another – and it can often be for a number of reasons…
You have outgrown the position
One of the most common reasons individuals cite as a reason to leave their current position is around progression – or more specifically, lack of opportunities at their current employer. Often, a lateral move within the company is one viable route that, whilst perhaps offering a similar overall remuneration package, does provide the individual with the chance to expand their skills and professional network. Quite often a lateral move can provide a revised career path that still gives that individual chance to develop and learn about other areas of that business, and in turn raises the status of that employee and their broader influence internally.
However, this is not always possible either due to the size or structure of the company in question, or because of the current skill set that individual may have (which may not be transferrable). If the role no longer provides opportunities for the growth you seek in your career and there isn’t an obvious path to promotion, chances are finding a new opportunity elsewhere may be the only option to further advance your career. Before making that leap, it is always time well spent to review the market for opportunities, particularly if this is the first time in a few years you find yourself looking for those greener pastures. Ensuring that the businesses and roles you look at do offer clear paths for progression and advancement is key for ambitious individuals.
Recruitment agencies have a vested interest in understanding the sector and region in which you (and by extension, they) operate, and because of the trusted position that they have with prominent businesses, they will undoubtedly be able to offer you market insight, sector-specific guidance as well as trends and activity they are experiencing in the recruitment cycle. It is always worth enlisting their help at an early stage to get that birds-eye view of market trends and movement, as well as the inside-track of businesses that are in your area (or in your line of sight).
You are looking for an increase in remuneration
If the driver for moving is monetary, then it goes without saying that the first step should be to explore the option of a pay review with your current employer first. Whilst few individuals relish the thought of having those perhaps awkward conversations around money, it is important to see where the land lies first, even if that is to sense check the company’s position ahead of a diarised salary review later in the year/early next year. It is important to head into such conversations realistically and professionally – can the business afford the figure you have in mind for example? Have you got clear reasons why the review is justified, based on performance perhaps or the value you have brought to the business? Building a strong business case here is important – as is knowing your value and worth in the wider market.
This brings us to the second point – researching your market value. Understanding the current average or better still, range of salaries for similar roles in the market is crucial, especially if conversations around a pay rise end without the desired resolution and your hand is forced to look elsewhere. Recruitment agencies undoubtedly add value here with live salary data and wider benefits packages on offer for active jobseekers.
However sometimes the only way to achieve your salary expectations is to talk with your feet and look at other opportunities in the market where they can be realised. It is a perhaps unfortunate reality that pay increases tend to be more significant upon a move (as opposed to an internal promotion) so doing your due diligence early on will pay dividends so you have a realistic view of what those next steps look like.
You are looking for more work/life balance
Long hours and demanding workloads within a number of professional sectors are much documented – yet more than ever (and more than anything) – people seek a healthy work-life balance. According to a recent BBC article, data from a survey of more than 9,000 UK workers showed 65% of job seekers prioritised work-life balance over pay and benefits.
Whilst changing job roles may not necessarily negate all of these, the landscape of work has altered significantly following the aftermath of Covid, meaning that the likes of hybrid and home working models increased exponentially which for many has helped to strike a balance between work and home life. Whilst this won’t be the case for everyone (and ongoing research into the challenges these working models bring is still prevalent in the media) conversations around flexi-, agile-, home- and hybrid- are much more commonplace, as are many job roles offering such work arrangements.
Conversations around the pros (and indeed cons) of flexible working arrangements is still ongoing – and there is a fine line to tread when sometimes homeworking leads to an ‘always on’ mentality. A recent article even looked at research highlighting a negative impact on wellbeing….
Nevertheless, there has never been a better time to have an open conversation with your Recruitment Consultant, or prospective employer about the ways in which they can support the balance you’re looking for.
There are many other reasons of course that trigger that early decision to start looking for new opportunities. The reasons may be complex, and numerous, yet it is often not a decision that is taken lightly. We know from conversations with active jobseekers in the North West that other reasons include envisaged redundancy, conflict in the workplace, and generally down to a desire to relocate. Most respondents we speak to however say the decision is generally driven by a desire to progress, upskill, and take on a new challenge. Employee expectations around how, when, and where they work have changed – and as clients continue to compete for the best talent, arguably it has never been a better time to make the leap.
Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Marketing and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.
Whether you are looking for your next career move, or your next hire as a business owner of HR professional – we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.