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Desperate stakes

I want to leave my present job for one nearer my home and family. Because I work in an independent school, I am required to give a whole term's notice.

I am quite desperate to leave and start a new job by January. Will I have to wait until the end of March to leave after resigning in December and hope something turns up that starts in April?

The best time for you to resign your current job depends on your personal circumstances. Few of us have the luxury of risking a period of unemployment, however short.

For that reason, I would suggest that you think long and hard before resigning in December. Some jobs do begin after Easter, but these are quite rare. Most job adverts in The TES are for a September start, so to have the widest choice of posts I would recommend that you do not hand in your notice until the end of March - if you can possibly hang on for that long.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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