Is it time for a job change in 2021? Here’s how you’ll know

Has this year made you feel like it’s time for a job change? You’re not alone. I’m seeing a record number of people considering a change.

In fact, I’m seeing so much interest I’m predicting that in 2021, the workforce will experience what I call “The Great COVID Churn.”

Whatever you call it, I’m certain that 2021 will be a year of unprecedented turnover in the job market (I’ve already written a good bit about why this will happen but here’s the latest). Know that if you’re considering a change, you’re not alone.

Still, a hasty career move can mean a miserable new job, a realization that the old job wasn’t so bad, and a permanent blemish on your resume.

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So how do you know if you’re just tired of 2020 or if it’s really time to look around?

Ask yourself each of these questions and you’ll have a better idea of whether or not it’s time to move on.

1. Is it a Monday?

At our search firm, we have more people contact us hoping to make a job change on Mondays than on all of the other six days of the week combined. I’ve learned that what I call the “Sunday Scaries” are real and that rainy days and Mondays really do get us down.

Science actually agrees with me — Monday just isn’t a day to quit.


But the metaphor of Monday stretches further than just a day of the week. It extends to not quitting when you’re feeling down. I predict a lot of job turnover will happen because people will quit out of pandemic fatigue.

Don’t fall prey to that. You know the times that you’re naturally low energy or pessimistic? We all have them. For me, it is three in the afternoon and any time in the middle of winter. Recognize when you’re naturally down and don’t quit then.


On the flip side, know when you operate at your best energy. If you consistently feel a need to move to a new job during those times, pay close attention.

2. Is Your Work Complete?

If you left your job today, would you feel like you have completed the assignment you took on? If not, you should probably consider staying until you come to a natural transition time.

I used to think that you should only take a job if it’s your “forever job.” It’s not so.

Turnover is a natural part of work and movement is a natural part of a career path.


However, movement toward a new thing without completing the old is often just restlessness; it’s is bad for your reputation and is not a wise time to move.

3. Is There a Desire To Try Something New?

It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut in a career but getting out of a rut is very unusual. I’ve seen too many people wake up one day to realize their best years are behind them, and they’ve spent them blindly, without taking on a challenge.

2020 has broken all of our patterns and ruts and it’s a big reason why so many people will switch jobs in 2021.

Don’t feel guilty if the pandemic has you wondering why you do what you do and considering new opportunities in 2021.

Have you been looking for a new challenge? Thinking of making a leap?

I believe 2021 is going to be a year of not only people making fresh starts but also a time of grace for those who make a bad move.

This may be the year to say “yes” to that challenge you’ve been putting off.

4. Have You Had a Change of Heart?

The pandemic has caused millions of people to reconsider not just why they do what they do, but where they do what they do.


Do you have a new desire to live in a different part of the country? Do you want to work in a fully remote setting?

Tens of thousands of jobs will turnover in 2021 just because COVID-19 has made people want to move back home, live closer to family, be closer to aging parents or growing grandchildren.

Maybe it’s not the job that has changed but your heart and our world. That’s a fair reason to move and you won’t be alone if you do.

5. Is There a Drift In Your Responsibilities?

It is totally normal for a job to change and responsibilities drift over time but COVID-19 has accelerated that change like never before. Is the job you are doing now vastly different from what you signed up for?

If you feel that the responsibilities or tasks you’ve adopted this year no longer align with the purpose you were hired to fulfill or if you don’t feel equipped to serve as you’re being asked to, don’t wait for things to “go back to normal.” They likely won’t.


If you said yes to more than two of the five indicators on this list, it might be time to consider seeking a new career opportunity.

The good news is, you won’t be alone. As I said earlier, 2021 will be filled with turnover. It will be the year of “The Great COVID Job Churn.”

What does that mean for you? Either a wonderful new opportunity or if you make a change and it’s not the right one, you’ll be able to recover much faster than any time before.

William Vanderbloemen is the CEO and Founder of Vanderbloemen, which serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally. Follow him on Twitter @wvanderbloemen.

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