Is now the right time to change jobs?

2017 is a fairly unstable year, with a good deal of uncertainty in the air.

  • How will Brexit affect me?
  • What will the new government do?
  • What is happening in the US?
  • Are we taking climate change seriously enough?

These are just a few current issues affecting us which we cannot influence in a great way. However one of the major decisions we all have to make at some stage is whether we want to seek a new job or not. So with all this uncertainty, is now a good time to be thinking about this?

The recruitment industry is always to the forefront of trends within the employment market. We are aware of upturns and downturns in the jobs market and can track salary movements on a monthly basis. So what is the current situation?

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation produce a monthly survey entitled, ‘Report on Jobs’ in conjunction with Markit, and the results for May highlight the fact that now is a very good time to consider your next career move.

In this report there are four main areas which are surveyed. The first of these is the number of vacancies recorded by the recruitment consultancies surveyed. In May the sharpest rise in new vacancies since August 2015 was tracked. This growth in new vacancies reflects the continuing investment in the UK economy by organisations, which are fairly confident that the UK will continue to grow. We have also seen that companies involved in the export market are now beginning to undertake capital investment programmes to increase capacity. As such there has been very strong growth in vacancy numbers within the STEM fields, particularly engineering.

Another factor to consider when deciding to seek a new role is, are people actually getting new jobs? May 2017 saw the largest growth in people gaining new roles through recruitment agencies since the beginning of 2015. Companies recruiting are now speeding up their process and making decisions much quicker so that they do not miss out on suitable candidates. This is a major benefit to those looking for a new role as the most frustrating aspect of job hunting is the ‘waiting’ and not knowing what is happening in the recruitment process.

The other two areas measured link into each other. We have seen starting salaries continue to rise for people moving jobs by their fastest rate in over a year and a half , while the number of people actively seeking a new role is now at a 21 month low. Thus candidates seeking a new role are in a much stronger position in the job market, having more choice of vacancies and the ability  to negotiate higher salaries. Another result of this greater demand for staff which is becoming more evident  is that companies are going to greater lengths to retain their existing staff, through higher salaries and greater career development programs.

So is it a good time to change job? The answer is that in the current climate it is worth considering. Unemployment is the lowest it has been in a generation, organisations do not seem to be too worried about the political and economic situations, growth is continuing and there are more vacancies than ever for highly skilled candidates.

However, prior to putting you toe in the water, it is worth considering the options with your current employer. Job satisfaction is as important as financial reward, and when considering a change of career it has to be the right move for you!!

Chances are that at the moment that ideal role is out there!

If you are interested in finding out more about the current job market within the STEM sectors contact Liam O Connell on 01246 457700 or

Three lab scientists