As you approach the New Year, are you thinking about changing jobs? You’re not alone. Millions of your peers are thinking just like you.

Here’s the reason: You are in demand.

According to a recent report issued by The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), “The service sector is forecast to have the highest rate of job growth, with a net of 40 percent of respondents expecting to add jobs and have no layoffs.”

To get all of the stats out of the way, check out my favorite Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) graph, updated on December 10: Quits vs. Layoffs and Discharges continues to drastically widen

In plain speak, this means that more and more employees are taking the risk of resigning from the safety of their employment for the promise of a better job. This is a stark contrast to 2009-2010 when employees were clinging to their jobs and 2011-2012, when many employees remained reluctant to make a change.

 Employers have seen this change in talent supply and demand coming for years, and they should be doing everything they can to retain you including:

  • Healthy wage increases
  • Opportunities for career growth
  • Improved benefits
  • Clearly defined bonus plans that are attainable
  • Increased fringe benefits

Time to Look for a New Job?

As you are determining whether it’s time to look for a new job, keep in mind that it’s not always time for everyone to change jobs. Your career situation may warrant a different approach. Always consider what most employers value most, and be certain you can deliver on those needs both in action and on paper. If your résumé doesn’t show the following attributes, you may need to hunker down for another year or two:

  • Job Tenure – Employers consider past performance the top predictor of future performance, and the best employers are very reluctant to interview candidates with short tenures. If your tenures are short compared to your best-in-class peers, it may be best to stay put for another year or two.
  • Steady Career Progression – A steady climb up the staircase is highly valued because it shows that you have mastered a set of skills and abilities before moving on to the next. Contrary to what the media may portray, you shouldn’t advance from Line Cook to Executive Chef or from Concierge to Hotel General Manager. So, if you were promoted last month from Sales Assistant to Sales Manager, do not apply for a Director of Sales job. You’re not ready. It’s better for your long-term career success to wait.
  • Impact – You must be able to define your specific quantifiable contributions both verbally during your interview as well as on your résumé. Oh…and your references must also verify your accomplishments (the references you submit and the ones that your employer may contact “off the record”).

In 2014 I believe we’re going to see economic expansion at a higher level than most are predicting. Hotels and restaurants are already leading the way, and hiring about 1,000 people every day according to the NRA’s December 2 report. One thing I can assure you: If you are an experienced articulate hard-working professional, there is no shortage of great opportunity for you!