Whoa. Take a deep breadth. Before you spend a lot of time and effort with a job hunt, ask yourself some basic questions: What’s wrong with what I’m doing now? Do I have a future to advance within 5 years? Am I ready for a new, higher level assignment? And most importantly, what do I want to do in the future and why?
Seeking another job somewhere else may not be necessary. You’re more likely to move up to the next level where you’re already known, than to make a jump somewhere that you aren’t known. Have you utilized the educational programs available to you in your current job? Advanced certifications? If you do decide to move forward and check out the marketplace, you should ask yourself “why”, then identify your potential targets and prepare for the change.
Here are some potential questions you should answer when thinking about a job change:
- What do you really like about your current job? Why?
- What do you really dislike about your current job? Why?
- What would need to change for you to consider staying? Can you make it happen?
- Is the current industry the right one for you? If no, what industry is the right one?
- What high level of knowledge or skills would make you compelling in the marketplace?
- Are your skills easily transferable to another job? Company? Industry?
- Will a change require relocation? Personal and professional implications?
- Will a change affect your quality of life or the balance between work and non-work?
- Are you willing to move down or across a level to gain greater opportunities?
- Will you only move up the scale for compensation or benefits?
- What does the marketplace tell you about opportunities? Requirements?
- When you look at the next level, what are the weaknesses you need to address?
- Will you need another degree, certification, courses or special training?
- Will you lose anything with a move? Vacation, benefits, time off or incentives?
- What kind of reference will you get? From whom?
- Will you lose a mentor? Who will you learn from?
Here are some additional comments about the implications of a job change:
- When considering a job change, always look two jobs ahead. Make sure the next one isn’t a dead end job, where you can’t get out or move from.
- You’re a known entity where you currently work. You have earned your place as a performer and colleague. You start from scratch at a new job with unknown expectations.
- Ask the, “What happens if” question: You don’t fit the culture? You underperform? You’re uncomfortable with the environment, boss or co-workers? The job isn’t what you thought it was, or the job description is now different? What’s your contingency plan?
The greater the level of euphoria without proper research, the greater are your chances for disappointment. “The grass is always browner” can be a reality if your not careful.
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