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New Year, New Role: When is the Best Time to Move Jobs in Financial Sciences & Services?

Posted on November 2023

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The start of a new year often brings about the sentiment of fresh starts and new beginnings. For many professionals in the financial sciences & services industry, this sentiment also revolves around considering a change in roles or companies. But when is the right time to make that switch, and has the norm for notice periods shifted? Let's dive in.

Is 3 months the new norm for notices?

Traditionally, notice periods in the financial sciences & services sector ranged from one to three months, depending on the level of seniority and the region. Recently, however, there has been a noticeable trend towards three-month notice periods becoming standard across the board. Several reasons drive this shift:

  1. Complexity of Roles: As financial sciences & services become more specialized, companies require a longer transition period to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.

  2. Risk Management: Longer notice periods allow organizations to manage risks associated with sudden departures, ensuring that no critical tasks are left hanging.

  3. Talent Scarcity: With the industry's competitive nature, companies want to hold onto their top talent for as long as possible, even if it's just for an extra month or two.

When is the best time to look for a new role?

There are a few strategic periods within the year that job seekers in the financial sciences & services industry should consider:

  1. Early to Mid-Q1 (January to March): The new fiscal year often brings new budgets, leading to role expansions or new positions. Plus, professionals may leave their jobs after receiving year-end bonuses, leading to vacancies.

  2. Avoid Bonus Period: One key period to be wary of is the bonus season. Leaving your job just before you are eligible to receive your annual bonus means you could be leaving a substantial amount of money on the table. It's essential to weigh the benefits of a new opportunity against potential lost bonuses.

  3. End of Q3 (September to October): This period can be ideal because most companies evaluate their manpower needs for the coming year and may have clarity on new roles or vacancies.

  4. Avoid Year-End (November to December): Hiring tends to slow down as most companies are focused on year-end closing and might not have clarity on the next year's budget yet.

However, for those considering a move primarily based on the salary and benefits package, it's always a good idea to ensure you're informed about industry benchmarks. Take a look at our salary guide on the bookshelf to have a comprehensive view of what you should be receiving. This can provide leverage during negotiations and can ensure that you're not underselling yourself.

The Solution

For those looking to make a switch in the financial sciences & services industry, here are some key takeaways:

  1. Plan Ahead: Given the potential for a three-month notice period, it's essential to plan your job search well in advance. This way, you can ensure a seamless transition between roles.

  2. Network: Building strong relationships within the industry can provide insights into potential opportunities and even fast-track your application.

  3. Stay Updated: The financial sector is rapidly evolving. Continuous learning and staying updated with industry trends can make you a more attractive candidate.

While there are certain strategic times in the year that might be favorable for job hunting in the financial sciences & services industry, the decision should ultimately be based on personal and professional growth metrics. If you feel the time is right, take the leap by taking a look at our current roles.