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When is the right time to look for a new job?

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

So you’ve reached that moment in your career: the time to seek out something new. Whether it’s the hunt for something more challenging, meaningful, or simply for greater security; the desire for a career change is something most professionals are bound to face.

Below, we explore the main reasons why one may pursue a new job, and how to boost your chances of landing employment in the Australian job market. 

When should I consider getting a new job? 

There are many reasons why one would consider finding a new job. A common one is the need for new challenges; as your current role may not be providing the same excitement or fulfillment it once did. In fact, recent findings show that 20% of job-seeking Australians are jumping ship from their current job for “new challenges”, with 19% reportedly feeling uninspired. 

A simple change in your passions or interests could also warrant a job change. Perhaps you’ve come to realise that your current industry is not for you, or that your talents would be better suited elsewhere. Maybe you’ve decided to specialise in your current field or hone your skill for emerging new sectors. 

Other common reasons for getting a new job include the pursuit of better work-life balance, a less toxic workplace culture, and greater job security. All these could result in better overall wellbeing, allowing one to feel more engaged and satisfied in their role. 

What can I do to improve my chances of landing a new job?

Pursue further training 

One of the best ways to improve your chances in the job market is to build new skills for the roles you want.
Take the time to plan out the changing course of your career – what new opportunities do you hope to pursue?

Once you’ve determined this, take stock of your current skills and experiences, identifying any knowledge gaps you may need to fill. With further professional training; such as through courses, workshops, or internships, you can then start building the in-demand skills you’ll need for these positions.  

Upskilled, for instance, offers a wide variety of online courses aimed to help workers with their professional development. Ranging from bootcamps to comprehensive degree programs, individuals of all career backgrounds can easily pursue the training they need for employment or a career change. 

Improve your digital literacy

Digital skills are the future, making it critical for both job-seekers and current employees to upgrade their skillsets as necessary. 

According to a 2022 report by AI Group, 86% of Australian jobs beyond the advanced technology sector currently require “digital literacy” (one’s ability to navigate and leverage digital tools or platforms), with 156,000 further new digital technology roles expected to form by 2025. Despite this, the country currently struggles with a widening shortfall of digitally literate workers. 

Due to a high demand for talent paired with low supply, employers are willing to pay generous salaries for those with the right skills. In fact, workers moving from a professional services role to the technology sector are reportedly able to access wage increases of $10K AUD per annum, along with more flexible working options. 

Refine your resume 

Along with sharp skills, it’s important to enter the job market with a well-written, professional resume.
Ensure your applications are up-to-date with the latest skills and experience you’ve accumulated in recent years, removing any previous details or positions that no longer hold relevancy.

Structure is also critical when revamping your resume: a good rule of thumb is to always place your most important skills near the top of the page, where they can instantly catch the reader’s attention. 

With many companies now using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan digital resume for keywords, it may also be worth strategically placing these within your application. Avoid overstuffing your resume with these terms, however – just use enough to accurately describe what you have to offer, while still maintaining readability. 

Practice your interview skills

With the right skills, knowledge, experience, and an impressive resume – you’re bound to land that precious interview sooner or later. 
It’s thus important to come in prepared with professional, confident answers. Before meeting with the hiring manager (or employer), take the time to research on common interview questions asked within your industry.

These can vary greatly depending on your field; for example, a community services role may focus on questions based on your experiences with people (particularly the target population they assist with), while an IT role may focus on more technical questions that test your knowledge of certain digital tools, platforms, and practices. 

If necessary, it may be worth practicing your interview answers with someone, helping you build the confidence you need in your responses. 

Establish your personal brand online

In an era where everyone has a digital presence, crafting an engaging personal brand online can likely help you stand out in the job market. 

Make use of the many social media platforms at your disposal to connect with others in your industry. This could be as simple as creating a LinkedIn profile to get in touch with industry peers or joining full-blown communities that offer professional development or collaborative opportunities.

For example, aspiring programmers have platforms like GitHub, Stack Overflow, and HackerNoon, providing those in the sector with an online hub to share tips, ideas, and industry news. 

LinkedIn is a particularly effective social media website for business owners, start-ups, and employed professionals, providing them a convenient space to connect with one another.

In fact, with nearly all Australian business leaders (98%) currently approaching workers who aren’t actively looking for a job, the website has become one of the most popular platforms for “skills poaching”. 

How do I negotiate a better salary? 

  1. Do your research. Take the time to look up the competitive salary rates in your industry, and whether your skills and experience match up. If you think you’re worth more than they’re offering, use this information to negotiate for a better deal.
  2. Showcase what you have to offer. Of course, it’s important to also make your case for why you deserve a higher salary. Be sure to highlight the important skills, certifications, and experiences you have that can benefit the company in the long term. 
  3. Practice what you plan to say. Discussions on salary can often be nerve-wracking, so it may be worth practicing your delivery before diving into the conversation headfirst. As with building your interviewing skills, this can help you boost your confidence and helps you prepare for any unexpected questions. 
  4. Consider other negotiable benefits. In lieu of a pay rise, perhaps your employer could provide you with other benefits – such as extra vacation days, HECS debt repayment, and the ability to work from home. Take these other potential perks into account; they may be just as good as a salary bump and may cost your employer less to provide. 

Building your skills for a new career path?

Upskilled offers a wide selection of training programs catered to job roles of varying skill levels – from bootcamps and short courses to full-blown diplomas; we’ve got the courses you need to pursue some of the highest-paying sectors of the Australian job market. Seek out a job you love, and enquire with us today. 

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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.