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The bonus question: What are you waiting for?

Published on Saturday, 10 Jan 2015

Most of us are back at work after the holidays, and we have a few solid weeks ahead before the Lunar New Year. Many of you will have given thought over the break to a potential job move in 2015, but will also be considering your upcoming year-end bonuses, due to be paid any time between February and April. So, how actively should you be searching now? What if the perfect opportunity presents itself, forcing you to consider walking away from a hard-earned bonus?

Contrary to what you might think, January is actually the perfect time to really kick-start your search, if you have not already done so. With many people hunkering down and waiting until after Lunar New Year, competition is actually lower than it will be in March, and after.

This is the perfect time to be as proactive as possible in your job search. Start doing your homework on market trends, build relationships with trusted recruiters and you will distinguish yourself from your competition, finding yourself well ahead of the curve.

Strong demand remains for talent in many areas, such as risk/compliance, project management and business analysis, to name a few. This is driving employers to come up with creative solutions to attract top talent.

Companies often offer to buy candidates out of their bonuses, or a sign-on bonus to compensate for a portion of the bonus, or to provide the option of a delayed starting date. The more in-demand your skills, the more negotiating power you have, even at this early stage in the new year.

There is actually very little to lose in starting your job search now. Quite the contrary, in fact, as delaying your search will very likely put you at risk of falling behind your competition.


Katharine de Vaal, senior consultant for strategy and transformation – Hong Kong, ConnectedGroup


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