Dr Austin Tay


ImageIn Asia, celebrating Chinese New Year is a big thing as it marks the coming of Spring and the start of a brand new year in the Chinese calendar. This year, every Chinese celebrating looks forward to seeing what the year of the Horse will bring them. To some, predictions are very important, as they will see the course of their life in the next 12 months. For those, like me, who are less bothered about the predictions, this is the time to consider, a more fundamental question – is it the time to make a change and leave my present job. This is most common in Hong Kong because January is the time where workers are rewarded with bonuses (often discretionary based on the company’s performance for the past year).  Whether one is rewarded with a bonus or not, some of the brave ones will take this opportunity to make a career move.


Not wanting to sound like a fortune teller, if you are intending to make a move during this time, you might want to consider the following pointers


What are the real reasons for leaving the present job? 


I like to suggest making a list/mind mapping about the reasons and then think whether they are valid for you to move job.


Are there job opportunities out there for you?


It is tempting to jump ship but it is equally important to do due diligence here. Many people tend to move jobs and then realise 3 months down the road, they have ended up in a new job that is not dissimilar to the one they left. Talk to as many people as possible –  recruiters, peers and potential companies. Good due diligence will prevent surprises.


Who can help you to do this transition?


You have assessed that you now really need to leave your present job, what do you do next? Often at this stage, some would have a ready CV to send out or have already sent out to recruiters. My advice is, before you do so, to really deconstruct your CV. A few points to remember, CV is an introduction of which you are and what you have accomplished, so no jargons and be succinct. It is always interesting to see how and what people write in their CV. A good example is – I am a self-starter. This only gives the impression that you might in any given time self combust. Does not really say much about your achievements,  unless you are applying for a role as a pyromaniac.


Send CV to everyone


Again, this is such a tempting thing to do but usually, it gets the reverse effect. For one, your CV will be flooded in the market and everyone will have seen your CV. You need to be strategic about this. Only send your CV to recruiters who know your area of work. Sadly, there are too many general recruiting companies that will want to get as many CVs to bolster their database and often they have recruiters who are inexperienced. So be critical who you send your CV to. Do a bit of research. The other thing that people tend to miss out is to leverage your own network. It is also all right to make contact with a potential employer (but not to shamelessly ask for a job – be tactful). I remembered assessing an individual for a role he managed to secure through the use of the social platform.


So whatever you decide in this Year of the Horse, just remember before you gallop off to the next haystack, be prepared by doing your due diligence.

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