When to start looking for a job

When is a good time to start looking for a job?

You may have asked this question yourself or been asked this question. The short answer is all the time.

Here is the long answer.

I advise people you should always keep a pulse on your field’s job market. You can do this by looking at your own internal listings (depending on your company size) or job listings from your competitors. You can do this by setting up email notifications when a job listing matches certain criteria. Linkedin is also an excellent source of observing the health of your job market. The more activity there is in your field, the better the prospective is.

Let’s face it, it is not a good sign if there is limited movement in your field. It means people are staying put and not willing to take risks. It also means there isn’t a market for your skills. When there is high demand for your skills and experience, it will lead to competition. When there is competition, there will be pay growth to bring in the top talent for the company.

Can you see the correlation between job growth and job movement?

We now tie this back to our original question – when to start looking for a job? The answer is you should always keep an eye on a new job. Yes, you may be in a fortunate position where you are satisfied with your pay, benefits and other fringe benefits such as work from home, flexibility and free food. However, understanding the job market will allow you to negotiate with your own company if they fall behind in keeping up with your wages and benefit. Most companies will not pro-actively provide market rate adjustments. It is your responsibility to openly discuss with your manager when you feel the compensation falls short of your value. If you do not feel like you can approach your manager with this topic, it is time to move.