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New Year, New Job? Why now is a good time for a career change

New Year always feels like a fresh start. And this applies just as much to our job as any other aspect of our lives. Perhaps you want to do things differently this year : find ways to work smarter not harder for example. Or perhaps you’ve been thinking for some time about changing jobs and have decided that 2024 is the time to do that.

But if you are thinking of changing jobs, did you know that January and February is a really good time to make that happen? Employers often come back to work in the New Year wanting to make changes and launch fresh initiatives, so it’s a good time to jump on that bandwagon. There may also be a bit of a hiring backlog from the end of last year, with more job opportunities therefore available in January and February.

So if you are hoping to change jobs in 2024, why not give it a go? Here is a simple five step plan to help you find and get the job of your dreams.


Step 1 : Understand why you want to change jobs

If you want to change jobs it’s important to understand why. Unless you do this, you could spend a lot of time and effort only to end up in a job that is no better for you than the one you are already in.

So the first step is to think through carefully why you want to move from the job you are currently in. some of the most common reasons that motivate people to change jobs are:

  • Higher pay;
  • More career development opportunities;.
  • Better benefits;
  • A company culture that you identify with;
  • Opportunities for flexible/remote working.


So when looking to change jobs, make sure you consider how you would fit into the company, what opportunities there would be to progress, and how good the benefits are – including whether you would be able to work flexible hours and/or remotely.


Step 2 : Decide what you really want to do

Another important thing to consider in the early stages of job hunting is what kind of job you really want to do. The obvious thing to do is to look for a job similar to the one you are doing now, and if you really enjoy what you do then that’s a wise choice. 

But you need to think about whether you not only want to change the company you work for but also the type of job you are actually doing. If you start thinking about all the people you know, there will be many who have taken the brave step of completely changing direction career-wise. Proving that it is possible to make a major change if you decide to do so.

Of course, you still need to bear in mind the practicalities of life, and all the bills that will still need to be paid. But if you are seriously thinking of a career change, it could be helpful to have a go at a career aptitude test to try and work out what you do and don’t enjoy and therefore what kinds of job would suit you best. One well known test used in industry is The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and there is a free online version of this known as the Jung Typology Test. 

Even if you identify the career change you’d like to make, but realise that now is not the right time to do it, you can still make your next job change a useful interim step in your longer-term plan for a bigger change.


Step 3 : Identify and target potential companies to work for

Once you know the type of job you want, you can start looking for jobs to apply for. There are many online agencies that have hundreds of adverts, some of which may be of interest.

But rather than applying for a random selection of jobs, it can be a more strategic approach to identify some potential companies you would really like to work for. In fact, it can be a better use of your time to do some research before sending any application off anywhere.

Not only do you want to find a company that offers the kind of job you are looking for and pays well, but it’s just as important to find a company whose brand and culture you can really identify with:

  • The brand. What is the reputation of the company? The identity they portray to the outside world? The way a company is regarded by its customers, and the general public, can make a big difference to how its employees also feel about it.
  • The culture. We mentioned this earlier, and the working culture of a company can make the difference between you loving and hating the job itself. You need to find out what it’s like to work for the company, do employees feel valued, and whether there is good communication and interaction throughout the company. Is the work environment – and the values, mission and goals of the company – the kind of place you’d like to be?


It’s worth spending time researching potential companies whose brand and culture you feel you’d be comfortable working with. So look not only at the information put out by the company itself, but also anything being reported in the news, any interaction between the company and its customers on social media, and anything you can pick up by word of mouth.

Once you have identified one or more companies that you are interested in, do all that you can to make contact with them. Don’t just wait for a job to be advertised, but approach them directly to ask if there are any openings. You can do this via their website or social media, or make a direct approach by phone, email or letter. There’s a lot of truth in the concept that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Also see if there are other networking opportunities with the company either face-to-face or online. For example exhibitions, seminars, trade fairs, professional groups, webinars or LinkedIn events. And, again, use word of mouth too : let everyone know that you are interested in a particular company and eventually you will find someone who has a contact there that may be able to help.


Step 4 : Present yourself in the best light

If a job comes up that you are really interested in, and you are asked to send in a CV, make sure it is going to stand out from the crowd. Don’t fall into the habit of sending off exactly the same version of your CV for every job you apply for. Take the time to tailor it specifically to the job you are applying for. It is better to apply for fewer jobs and take more care over the application than use a scattergun approach.

Don’t worry if you don’t have every single skill or experience that the employer is looking for : most applicants won’t. Just make sure that the experience and skills you have which match the job advert really stand out, and that the CV highlights all your relevant strengths.

If you get called for an interview this is a very positive sign that the company is definitely interested in you. Otherwise they wouldn’t commit the time to see you. But it does mean that you need to make the most of this opportunity. Three things that will help you to do this are:

  • Prepare : Find out as much as you can about the company and the people who work there. Read their website, check regularly for any up to date news about the company, and also view their social media feeds for current issues. Also start making a list of questions that you could ask at the interview as it can be easy to dry up if they ask you this, and it is much more impressive if you have some genuine questions ready.
  • Practise : Think of some of the obvious questions that they are likely to ask you and practise answering them out loud. Even just hearing your voice giving the answers can really help to build up your confidence for the interview. Also think of plenty of personal examples you can use in your answers as this will always help. 
  • Present : Do all that you can to present yourself as well as you can. It’s a good idea to plan what to wear based on what current employees are wearing in images of the company that you have seen. You want them to realise that you will fit right in. 


Even though you will be nervous on the day, try to act confidently. Take a deep breath, put on a big smile, and make eye contact. Psychologically, if you make the effort to act in a certain way, it can then trigger your emotions into feeling that way. So act confidently, but also make sure you are pleasant and polite when answering questions rather than coming across as arrogant or brash due to nerves.


Step 5 : Stay positive while you are waiting

Whilst your job hunt is ongoing, it’s important to stay positive and keep moving forward in other areas of your life too. A good employer will also be interested in you as a person, and how you are going to fit in with the rest of the team, so make sure you have plenty of positive things going on to talk about.

First of all, don’t abandon all interest in your current job. Yes, you want to leave, but you are still being paid and your current employer deserves your best. So keep doing a good job where you are, and use every opportunity to learn new skills and take on more responsibility. You want to be as sharp as you can when you move to your new job, so don’t slide into a bit of a slump while you’re waiting for that to happen.

Also take the opportunity to learn new skills outside work. All learning is good, and if you have something new to motivate you and stimulate your brain, it will probably inspire your work performance as well. So whether you want to learn another language, a musical instrument, painting, or a particular type of cooking or dancing or sport, start making it happen.

If your current job is really getting you down, perhaps see if you can take a couple of weeks off and do something that you’d really like to do. Whether that’s travelling somewhere for a holiday, taking a few day trips from home, redecorating your living room or just binge watching all your favourite movies, do something that will make you happy. This should refresh you and give you enough resilience to crack on with your current job whilst continuing the search for your new one.


We hope that our five steps help you to decide what you really want to do and find the best job for you. Good luck! And if at any stage in the process you need some extra funds, remember that Munzee Loans offer online loans that may be able to help.

Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Munzee Loans.