Every January, hundreds of workers – feeling rejuvenated from recent holidays and wanting to get a jump on their new year’s resolutions – will start the search for a new job. However, while the motivation to look for new opportunities is there, the opportunities themselves aren’t always. The financial comparison firm Finder found that more than 2 million Australian workers are forced to take their annual leave over the Christmas period (December/January) with parents especially trying to align their leave with school holidays. This statistic also applies to hiring managers and recruiters, which means that the job opportunities they were working on leading up to Christmas, are usually put on pause.
Furthermore, January is already six months into the new financial year – which means that the majority of an organisation’s budget and resources for the year have already been allocated to existing projects and business goals. Alternatively, the start of the new financial year (July) brings with it exciting new prospects, as organisations reassess their priorities and goals for the next fiscal year, create new projects and allocate their budgets and resources to these projects. Consequently, it can be the perfect time to look for new opportunities – especially for those within finance or business support. Public Sector People delve further into why this month could be the perfect time to change jobs and the steps to help you do it successfully:
In Australia, the tax year is the same for every person – it ends on June 30th and the new year starts the next day on July 1st. Most organisations – especially within the public sector – comply with the tax year and use June 30th as a deadline for taking stock of their financial position, and drawing up their annual reports and financial statements. These reports and statements can then be used to help guide organisations when setting business goals for the year ahead, as they reveal the targets that were or were not met and overall financial performance. Most companies will also aim to finalise their budgets for the new financial year in May and June – which will coincide with any new projects or goals the organisation has set.
Because of last year’s volatile economic climate, many organisations held off on resource and financial commitments as it was reported that two in three businesses experienced a decreased revenue compared to the previous year.  (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021). However, in 2021 Australia’s primary focus is on economic recovery. In May’s federal budget announcement, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg discussed maintaining the momentum of Australia’s economic recovery and fuelling further job growth. This was especially apparent in the budget’s commitment to the public sector, with the budget documents outlining its strategy to strengthen the resources and tools of the public service in 2021-22, so it can efficiently deliver the next stage of temporary and targeted support for continued economic recovery (Johnson, 2021). As part of this commitment, the average staffing level (ASL) resources estimate will increase to 174, 276 which is 5, 364 above the original estimate for 2020-21.
This is welcome news for anyone currently looking to change jobs within the public sector, as many organisations will look to start hiring in July in order to meet these new increased resource allocations set for the next financial year.
Furthermore, the budget outlined several initiatives that will be rolled out over the next few years including $1.2 million being invested into Australia’s digital infrastructure, a $110 billion infrastructure 10-year pipeline and $2.7 billion for over 170,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships (PwC, 2021). The successful delivery of these projects will require many additional jobs to be created across both the private and public sectors.
Suddenly, the organisation’s that held back on recruiting talent last year are now desperate for greater resources, as these upcoming projects announced, highlight how under-resourced their teams currently are. This again, means there will be plenty of opportunities emerging for those currently on the job hunt, and with limited competition. As previously mentioned, June/July isn’t traditionally a popular time for candidates to look for new work, so active jobseekers could potentially have less competition to contend with.
If you’re in the market for new opportunities – maybe your contract with an organisation finished up at the end of the financial year – or you’re just interested in seeing what else is out there, the following can help you in securing a new role for the 2021-22 financial year:
Firstly, establish why you’re looking for new opportunities and what you want out of your new role; is it a higher salary, more responsibility, trying an area of work you’ve always wanted to? Knowing this prior to commencing your search will guide you and ensure you find opportunities that you’re passionate about.
Once you’ve found some job advertisements that look promising, it’s important to then tailor your resume to fit in with said job. Firstly, you need to ensure your skillsets and experience align with the job requirements or key selection criteria. You then need to make sure that the skills and experience you choose to emphasise or highlight is most relevant to the job, to effectively highlight your suitability to potential employers.
Do your homework before going to a job interview. Prepare hypothetical answers to popular questions you think an interview panel might ask you, have a list of prepared examples of when you showcased your necessary skillset at the ready – and very importantly- give yourself plenty of time to get to the job interview to prevent arriving late.
If you’re having difficulty finding appropriate jobs for your experience or opportunities that interest you, reach out to your network. Connecting with former colleagues, going along to networking events, or putting time into your Linkedin profile, can always help you uncover new potential opportunities.
Finally, reach out to a reputable recruitment company that specialises in your industry – they’ll have an in-depth understanding of the current job market and can help find roles that align with your professional goals.
For those currently looking for new opportunities within the public sector and wanting to take advantage of the new financial year, you can contact us at:
 Terlato, P. (2016). One Third Of Australians Coerced Into Taking Leave At Christmas. Finder. Retrieved from: https://www.finder.com.au/one-third-of-australians-coerced-into-taking-leave-at-christmas
 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2021). One Year of COVID-19: Aussie Jobs, Business And The Economy. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/one-year-covid-19-aussie-jobs-business-and-economy
 Johnson, C. (2021). Public Sector Winners In Big Spending Budget. The Mandarin. Retrieved from: https://www.themandarin.com.au/156464-public-sector-winners-in-big-spending-budget/
 PwC. (2021). Federal Budget 2021-2022: Tax Analysis and Insights. PwC. Retrieved from: https://www.pwc.com.au/publications/federal-budget-2021/analysis-and-insights.html