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[BizCareers] 2014 - need a fresh start?

Many people would like to know whether January is a good time to look for a new job, we tackle this below as well as clarify what constitutes valid reasons for leaving your present job.
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Good time to look for new job?

I have decided that one of my New Years resolutions is to find a new job. I am currently a marketing assistant for a large law firm but am just not happy with the company or remuneration. I don't see anywhere for my career to grow to. What is the market currently like? Is this a bad time to look as there are so many people on the market? Please advise. - Claire

Hi Claire,

Thank you for your question. January does traditionally spur a desire to move direction or make changes in your life after you've had time to evaluate your priorities whilst on leave. Either people realise that it's time to move on, or they reaffirm that they are in the right job/company and are excited for the year ahead.

As you mentioned there may be quite a few people that have the same idea, however I don't believe this will hinder your chances too much. If they are looking to leave it means they are leaving a role that could potentially be good for you. In your case, I would start applying for various roles and going for interviews to get an idea of what you want and what you're looking for. You may love the first interview you go to and get the job of your dreams or it may take a few months, either way, it's never a fruitless exercise.

Best of luck with your endeavors and I wish you a wonderful and successful 2014!

Communication in an interview

I resigned in December from my role due to being unhappy. There was misrepresentation in the role I was offered and the role that I actually got. I was with the company for six months. How do I communicate my reason for leaving the company during my interview at a new potential job without sounding negative? I also don't want to be perceived as job-hopper. - Thandi

Hi Thandi,

Thank you for your interesting question.

One needs to remember that in an interview, the first impression is a lasting one. When discussing your reason for wanting to leave your current or previous position, you need to be upfront, honest and lay down the facts; however, you should do so with professionalism and without slandering the company, showing that you have respect regardless of ill treatment. The company that you are interviewing with needs clarity on your situation in order for them to understand what your expectations are in a new role. So honesty and respect are two keywords you need to remember.

With regards to coming across as a job-hopper - an interview is the perfect opportunity to sell yourself as well as explain your CV in detail and eliminate any concerns that the interviewer may have. There are innumerable explanations as to why one would have a lengthy list of previous employers on their CV, such as retrenchment, poor career choices, relocation or as in this case, the employer misrepresenting what the role actually entailed. Often, the majority of the time, a person's reasons for leaving is out of their control, in which case you should be able to simply explain each reason for change without hesitation or dishonesty, making the interviewer notice that there is no pattern that reflects badly on you.

Lastly, keep in mind that the confidence you exude when talking about yourself makes a vast difference. Confidence, but with politeness and humility, is key in your words as well as your body language. If you do not have self confidence in what you are saying, the interviewer will pick up on that; nevertheless, if you believe what you are saying and are honest about yourself, you will easily convince others to be confident in you too.

May 2014 bring you great success and your dream career.

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About Juliette Attwell

Juliette Attwell is Head of Marketing & Operations at Recruitgroup. Recruitgroup has won Careerjunction Recruiter of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as Fast Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards 2014. Juliette holds a Bcom Honours in Marketing Management and is the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column, she was also a finalist in the Top Young Executive at the National Business Awards 2014.