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Candidate Time Killers

When is the right time to change jobs?

Several years ago, I wrote a blog about how time can be the enemy of companies looking to hire top-tier talent. But timing can also hinder a candidate’s prospects at landing a job. 

Sometimes, companies have only a split second to decide between you and another candidate. Even if a candidate has a moment’s hesitation about a position could create a critical barrier in landing the right role.

Over the last twelve years, I have placed people from all the main categories of job seekers. Job seekers who are:

  1. In transition
  2. Working but not happy
  3. Happy but open to listening
  4. Entrenched and not open to discussion

Most likely, you are coming at a new position from one of these places. But one thing you share in common with all the other job seekers is this question: “Is this the right time to make a change?”

Hesitation is natural. There could be a few factors that cause hesitation:

  • Comfort: Most people have put up with being uncomfortable in their job for so long, they’ll begin to believe discomfort is the status quo, and have given up on looking for something better.
  • Doubt: It’s only natural to wonder, “Am I making the right decision?” Or, “Is this the right job for me?” Or even, “Is there a better job out there?” But no matter the question, doubt is likely the root of the problem.
  • The unknown: Probably the most common barrier for job seekers. When we know the job we have, even if it’s a job we might not like, it can be difficult to take that leap into uncertainty. 

For job seekers who are serious about making a change there are a few things you can do early on in the process that will help you avoid these common timing issues:

  1. Don’t worry about certainty. In all my years of recruiting, I’ve yet to meet a candidate who was 100% certain about their next position. And the same goes for employers as well. There is going to be some level of uncertainty for both you and your new employer. So the risk is shared between both parties.
  2. Secondly, be okay with discomfort for a little while. Personal growth rarely comes without growing pains. Just keep in mind: nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

No matter where you are in your job search, taking the time to make sure you’re ready can help you be more comfortable making that decision. While that next opportunity might be perfect for you, hiring managers often can’t afford to wait for you to be 100% comfortable. 

Time really can kill deals, even for candidates.