How is your summer bucket list coming? Suntan? Vacation? Reading a good book? Quitting your job?
For a growing number of individuals, quitting a job is a popular summer activity. January is traditionally seen as the most popular month for making a career move, but with unemployment at all time lows and salaries heating up, this summer has proved a popular one for an unlikely summer activity – making a job change.
The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. workers are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate in more than 17 years, with 3.4 million people leaving their jobs in April. That figure rose by another tenth of a percent in May. Those making a move report doing so largely for better pay and benefits.
These overall trends are even more significant for security cleared workers. With continuing delays in processing new clearances and a diminished talent pool, professionals with in-demand skills and an active security clearance find their job prospects to be even greater, and their likelihood to make a move higher.
84% of respondents in the 2018 ClearanceJobs Compensation Survey said they were likely to change jobs in the coming year – that’s a 20% increase over 2017. Cleared candidates know the market is in their favor, and they’re willing to make a move if the offer is right.
And while robust job opportunities is good news for candidates, the market is challenging for employers. Michael Bruni, vice president of talent and acquisition at KeyW notes the negative stigma surrounding job hopping has largely gone away – and that’s at least in part due to how aggressive candidate poaching has become.
“We’re proactively soliciting folks in this market,” he notes. “You’re not just getting a resume or having someone apply for your job – you’re chasing candidates. That has a psychological impact on the candidate. Your ability to offer them a better deal allows that to happen.”
Just as recruiting has shifted from a ‘post and pray’ field, career management for candidates also means proactive career management.
“In this particular market, with technology improving, people are constantly looking,” notes Bruni. “We don’t have to go too far to find people, and they don’t have to go far to find us. Our ability to connect with people drives the competition up.”
Will Changing Your Job Make You Happier?
Clearly, the ball is in the candidate’s court when it comes to making a career move. But if you’re looking to a job change to make you happier, you may be disappointed.
While those who change jobs tend to report a higher wage boost, studies have shown job satisfaction is often more correlated with the quality of work, hours and flexibility – all of which you may sacrifice (at least temporarily) when you transition careers.
With a hot job market, summer may be a great time for a career move – but do your homework, research your employer, and make sure a job change is really right for you. That summer grass isn’t always greener.