Don’t Give Up Your Bonus: Making a Q4 Job Change

Career Tips

As the summer winds up, companies are preparing for the fourth quarter, and many of us are already looking beyond the end of 2021. Back-to-school turns into Thanksgiving, which ushers in December holidays and the new year. 

Somewhere in between the waning days of summer and the impending holidays, employees put their job searches on hold. They nestle in, waiting for January and their new-job resolutions to take form. 

At some point we’ve been told that most hiring takes place at the beginning of the year. New budgets, new teams, renewed excitement. However, companies need to shore up their teams (and spend their TA budget) before the clock strikes midnight. If you’re in a market where the demand for talent is high, then you are in a great position to leave your current job and negotiate without giving up perks like holiday time-off or an end-of-year bonus that isn’t usually paid out until 2022.


What are you foregoing by leaving your current job before the close of 2021?

·      PTO / Vacation

·      Paid Holidays

·      401k – especially if you are getting close to full vesting

·      Annual of end of year bonus

·      Performance Bonus


After calculating the monetary value of leaving your position before the end of the year, you are in a stronger negotiating position with a potential future employer. Determine the must-have and like-to-have numbers that will make your transition financially beneficial for you. Additionally, determine the importance of giving up upcoming paid time off and assign it a value.


If you are using a recruiter to negotiate on your behalf, the process of quantifying and asserting your needs may be easier than negotiating on your own. Recruiters are your advocates and can assist in assessing your requirements prior to accepting a job.

It is OK to tell an employer that by accepting their position that you will be giving up certain benefits, like an end-of-year bonus. This is a tight labor market, especially for technology talent. Many companies are offering sign-on bonuses across the board. Use your research and calculations to be clear and firm about the additional compensation you will need to accept their offer.  

Want to understand how a Q4 career change can impact your bottom line? Reach out to Talener CEO, Michael Dsupin at to talk about your job search as we approach the end of the year. 

View our recent case studies and gain an even greater perspective.