Should I Wait for My Bonus, Or Start My Job Search Now?

The year is finally coming to a close, and you’re really looking forward to collecting that end-of-the-year bonus. Considering all of the challenges that you faced at work over the past 12 months, you feel that you really deserve it.

But at the same time, the situation at work has made you realize that it might be time to start searching for a new job. From what you’ve read, there’s never been a better time to look for a new job, especially in the tech industry. Employers are fighting for top talent.

What do you do? Do you stick around for your annual bonus, or take advantage of the fact that there’s hundreds of thousands of open positions that employers are desperate to fill?

Our knee-jerk reaction would be that if you’re waiting on a sizable bonus and don’t have an urgent reason to leave, then you should simply wait it out. That said, there’s a couple of things to consider:

Is the bonus really coming? Am I really going to get a bonus, or is my employer just dangling a carrot in front of me? A lot of cash-strapped companies didn’t give out bonuses last year. Although the economy has improved, it hasn’t been across the board. Clues that a bonus might not be coming include positions that remain unfilled or are outsourced — signs your company is trying to save money.

Is it worth waiting for? If we’re talking about a substantial bonus, that’s one thing. But if it’s not, you could bring in just as much at a job where the salary is higher than you’re making now. Spend some time crunching the numbers.

When will I get the money? Many companies announce bonuses in December and don’t get around to paying them out until well into the new year. Does waiting several more months change how you feel about staying? If that’s the case, you might consider starting your job search now.

Why do I want to leave? If you’re not getting along with a manager or don’t feel like you’re a good fit for your team, you have to weigh whether it’s worth it for you to stay for a couple of months and collect that payout. Your bonus might not be worth a few more months of mild frustration.

If you’re generally satisfied where you are but think you aren’t being paid what you’re worth, ask for a raise. Keep in mind that it’s rare for a current employer to be able to match the salary and benefits that a new employer offers. Another thing to remember is that the majority of people who decide to stay for a higher salary end up leaving within a year anyway.

If you’re not happy with your current benefits package (including things like the flexibility to work from home), if you don’t see opportunities for advancement or growth, or if you aren’t being challenged by the work, speak to your manager. Companies are working hard these days to retain their top talent. Especially if what you’re asking for doesn’t include a salary increase — something that often requires approval at multiple levels — you might find that your manager is more than willing to make changes in order to keep you.

If your decision about whether to look for a new job is just about timing — Is the end of the year really a good time to be on the job market? — let us reassure you. As we've written about in this column before, Q4 is an amazing time to be a job seeker. The candidate pool is smaller, so your resume will get additional attention. Hiring managers are desperate to fill positions before the end of the year because they will lose that budget line. The hiring process is less stressful because it doesn’t drag on for months.

At Averity, we’re busier than ever before. We’re being asked to fill opening for positions ranging from entry-level all the way up to executive level. We can assure you that there are lots of great-paying jobs out there for ambitious people in the tech field.

When people ask us about starting a job search during the holidays, our answer is always the same: Don’t wait until after the first of the year, when job boards are overloaded with people competing for the same positions. You might end up feeling frustrated with the search process and put it off for six months or a year, when you’ll be in exactly the same situation you are right now.

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Nothing but a positive experience working with Averity and Samantha Hoffenberg in particular. Professional, attentive and extremely supportive every step of the way. Samantha actually took the time to really understand my background - no cut and paste here. Shortly thereafter I was matched with three opportunities that really fit my skillset and where I was at in my career. Prepping for interviews was concise and relevant and I was kept informed every step of the way. No guessing where I was at in the interview process. No waste-of-time body count interviews. It was obvious Samantha had solid, long-lasting relationships with the firms I interviewed with as the feedback was always informative. This is one recruiter I can and do actually recommend and the first person I will be calling if the need ever arises again.

Vincent Melia

Chris Descrescenzo and the team at Averity are phenomenal. 5 stars are simply not enough! I've worked with quite a few recruiters in the past but Chris Descrescenzo and the Averity team are exceptional. I just landed an incredible job opportunity after a single interview. Especially in this tenuous economic climate, I truly appreciated the steps and care Chris took. He was incredibly generous with his time, and made sure the position was a good match. Then, he sent me incredible prep notes which were invaluable. He followed up with me every step of the way and was always there to talk through every possible question. I have never had a more successful interview process. Hands down. I could write a novella about his knowledge, kindness and professionalism. But simply put: He is the best. Thank you!

Amy Morrison

I had a stellar experience working with Stephanie Grosso at Averity. She's got this great combo of positivity and efficiency, and she helped me land a job less than a month after we first spoke. I felt super supported at every step of the multi-stage interview process, and she's always been available with great advice whenever I needed it. Definitely a high-quality recruitment experience.

Jenny Wong

I worked with Chris De Crescenzo from Averity, he reached out to me with a role that was right in line with my skills at the time. The role was a great fit for me with an awesome company, and he kept me up-to-date and informed at each turn of the interview process. In almost no time I was at the final interview step and Chris walked me through the on-boarding process and how to go from there. He was a pleasure to work with and professional, ensuring I was prepared at each step of the way so that I was primed for success. It was great working with Averity and especially him!

Christopher Jativa

I had a great experience working with Averity. The team was continually attentive, and very effective at presenting me with the right opportunities and advocating for me throughout the offer stage. I'd highly recommend them!

Matt Kravetz

I just had an extremely positive experience working with the DevOps placement team Alex, Daniel, and Chad. They were all consummate professionals who kept my schedule full with relevant interviews. They also helped prep me and were constantly checking in to make sure we were doing everything we could to find the next opportunity. There is potentially a lot of stress that comes with a career transition, but the folks at Averity really know how to help you focus on next steps and moving forward one day at a time. I couldn't recommend them any higher.

Brendan Hasemeier

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