“I QUIT!” the protagonist loudly declares to befuddled members of upper management. They then storm out of the office’s quarters, their fists raised in defiant victory—and the scene cuts immediately to their new life in their dream job.
Sounds familiar? If it does, it’s probably because the scene plays out like this in popular movies or on TV. Quitting an old job and seguing into a new one seems both simple and immediately rewarding. But as with most things, the truth is harder to handle than fiction.
In reality, your situation may be more like this: after weeks, maybe months of deliberation, you’re still agonizing about passing a resignation letter. You’re wondering how soon it will be until you reach financial stability, career satisfaction, and a strong business reputation once again. You’re worried—and with good reason—about feeding your family, going too long without being employed, and making a positive impression on a future employer.
These concerns all link back to one key issue in job hunting: timing. Timing is one of the most important choices a job seeker can make, as it can affect one’s standing among prospects, the rate at which one can score an interview, and the steadiness of one’s success in their chosen field.
If this resonates with you, and you’re scouring through new jobs in the Philippines, then you might benefit from the tips below. Here are four practical indicators that it’s the right time to apply for a new job.
- You have some idea of where you want to go that’s not where you are right now. If you aren’t satisfied at your current job, do you have an idea of what satisfaction will look like in another one? Do you want to work in a different department, do you want to shift to another industry, or do you want to try another working setup (for example, switching from a traditional 9-to-5 arrangement to freelance gigs)? You should have a clear perspective on this before you resign. It will also help refine your job search, and keep you from settling for just any new job offer that comes your way.
- You’ve stayed long enough to be of value to your company. Some recruiters are prejudiced to applicants who’ve worked less than two years in their current company. But be sure to indicate in your resume, as well as during your job interviews, that you’ve worked long enough to be of impact to your old employers—whether that be over a course of one year or five. In truth, one’s ideal number of work years depends on the type of work, the industry, and the particulars of the arrangement. As long as you can prove that you did the best you could within a particular timeframe, then you can leave with a clean conscience.
- The company is on track to regaining their investment on you. No matter how much you like your old company, you should acknowledge that they spent time, money, and attention when they hired you. If you want to leave with their goodwill on your side, then make your exit when you feel like you’ve returned the investment in some way. You can commit to staying at least for a year, or you can stay until you’ve hit a large project milestone with them. If your old employers end up as work references for your new ones, then there’s a greater chance that they will speak kindly of you.
- You’ve accumulated enough savings of your own. Last but not least, think carefully about how changing jobs will affect your monthly cash flow. In the worst case, you might need to wait another month or two to secure a new job and to acclimatize to a new routine. Perhaps you can time your departure for after Christmas, so that you can collect one last bonus. Regardless, you should stay out of the red while you transition from your last job to your next one.
In summary, the best time to apply for a new job may be: when you are dead sure that you can leave on a clean slate, with few regrets and few obstacles to moving forward. Quitting your job may not inspire as much fanfare as in the movies, but doing so in a practical, decisive manner will put you well on track to achieving your dreams.