If you're stuck in a rut in your current job, feeling bored, unhappy and morale is the toilet, you're not alone.

About 46% of workers are currently looking or planning to look for a new job in the first half of 2023, according to a Robert Half survey. That’s up 41% six months ago.

Who is looking for a new job?

Some workers more likely to make a career move early next year include 18 to 25-year-olds (60%), human resource professionals (58%), employees who have been with their company for 2 to 4 years (55%), and working parents (53%), said Dora Onyschak, Robert Half’s regional director.

Why are people looking for a new job?

More than 60% polled said they’re looking for more money, which is no surprise, Onyschak said. 37% are looking for better benefits and perks and 36% want greater flexibility to choose when and where to work.

Despite hiring freezes, layoffs, and rescinded offers, job optimism is up, she said. But it’s still a good time to start looking for a new gig.

“There are more jobs than there are skilled workers for those jobs. Some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show there are roughly two job openings for every unemployed individual. Our monthly job growth has averaged doubled what it did in 2019 in 2022,” Onyschak said.

So, if people are unhappy, looking for a higher salary, have the desire to be closer to home, and looking for job movement, it’s a good idea for them to keep their options open, she said.

What is some advice for the currently employed looking for another job?

Onyschak said communication is always key. Talk to your employer about your current situation. Is there room for job growth? Is there any more money to be given out? If that’s not the case, then it may be time to look for a new job.

“First and foremost, please be discreet. You certainly don’t want to put yourself in a position where your current employer finds out that you’re looking to move,” she said.
Search on your own time, not the company’s time. Don’t be posting on social media that you’re job hunting. It’s a very small world.

Seek out a recruiter. There are a lot of roles that are not posted. But recruiters have relationships with many employers who can help you get into those positions, Onyschak suggested.

What happens if the boss finds out you’re job hunting?

This could be a sticky situation, she said. As an employer, they may question the employee’s loyalty and commitment to the job and the organization. It could also impact what the employee is working on now or future promotion opportunities.

Onyscak said some companies may even dismiss employees who are searching for a new job because they are not going to invest in someone who won’t be around for a long time.

So, if you’re caught looking for a position, she said to have a conversation with your manager. Talk about your career goals and why you’re thinking of leaving. It could open some new lines of communication and doors to new opportunities at your current company that you didn’t know existed.

What is the proper protocol so as not to burn bridges?

Always give the employer two weeks’ notice as a proper courtesy, Onyschak said. Tie up some loose ends. This will leave a positive last impression.

“Know what you’re looking for. Determine what type of role you’re looking for and what type of company you want to work for. What are some things that are absolute nos? What would walk away from and what you potentially compromise on?” she said.

Be sure to network, but again, never on social media. Reach out to all contacts available.

She also said that former employers, known as “boomerang hires” are not out. These are people who were with an organization, left, but came back. If you’re interested in rejoining an organization, make some phone calls and put out some feelers. See if this is something that you’re interested in pursuing once again.

What are some tips for companies facing recruiting and retention challenges?

Offer competitive pay, benefits, and perks. Broaden the search and streamline the hiring process. Relax job requirements, be flexible and cultivate a strong organizational culture. Keep the pulse on the most important drivers of employee well-being and engagement, and take action to improve.

Happy job hunting in 2023!

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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