It’s never been easier to apply for a new job. With the click of a button, you can now send your CV whizzing through cyber space. Mobile technology, online job portals, and networks have literally put access to and information about potential employers in the palm of your hand.
This is all very cool, but you should never spontaneously start applying to jobs just because you had a crappy day at work.
The below points will help you avoid being in the awkward position of accepting a counter offer when you put in your resignation (fraught with danger, and the topic of a future blog), because it turns out that your current company actually can address that which they have failed to do so to that point:
1. Why Look?
Simple question; usually not so simple answer. There is a saying along the lines of ‘people don’t leave companies, they leave managers,’ and to a point this is true. In reality the decision to leave a role is usually spread across a number of factors, such as work environment, projects/ technology, location, career opportunities and salary.
Unless you are clear about why you are unhappy in your current job, and what you really want and need in the next, you are at great risk of finding yourself in the same situation, or worse, in your next role.
2. Speak to your family
About all of the above! Including your family in your deliberations can provide you with a useful and trusted sounding board, and will include them in the process.
3. Speak to friends
Especially speak to your mates if they have been through similar experiences. They will be able to provide you with free lessons from their experiences, and will also help educate you on what may be realistic. The added benefit here is that they may be able to refer you for a role in their organisation, but only ok this if you have completed all of these steps, and you know exactly what will happen to your CV once you send it to your mate.
4. Do your research
Wouldn’t it be annoying if you left your current job for a new one because there were no ‘cool’ projects to work on, just to discover that your old company just won a ‘cool ‘ project off your new company? There is no shortage of online and print material that will help you get up to speed on the industry goings on. Likewise, look at what current and past staff say about working at various organisations.
5. Speak to your Boss
Now this one may sound a little counter intuitive, but should only be avoided in extreme circumstances. If you have gone through the above steps, you should be getting clear about what you like and don’t like in your current job, and what you would want from your next. Use this awareness to have a constructive and professional conversation with your manager. It doesn’t need to be the ‘unless I get x,y and z I am out of here’ type discussion, but can be as subtle as ‘hey boss, I would like to book some time with you tomorrow to talk through my professional development plan with you’. You will soon learn if your current organisation can fulfil your needs, and if you have a close relationship with your manager, may even lead to a new ally in your search.
The above points are not exhaustive, but they will increase your chance of being happy in your job, whether it’s the one you’re in now with some changes or a new one yet to be found.