As a Career Coach I coach executives in the work place at the many stages of what I term as their “employee journey.” If they’re in the market for a new job or they are thinking about looking for one, I hear their concerns all the time that sound like:
“It’s been so long since I looked for a job that I don’t know where to start.”
“I feel like I want to make a change but what if I make the wrong decision?!”
“I’m afraid my current employer will find out I’m looking.”
“If I’m going to make a move I want to make sure it’s the right one.”
If you resonate with any of the above you’re not alone. I’ve thought of a few questions that will help with thinking ahead and making sure that you feel safe at this potential time of transition.
– How can workers determine if a job is worth leaving or whether they should try to change things in their current workplace?
When an employee has “jumped ship” mentally and emotionally from their current job, it’s important to reflect on what it just might have to do with them. It can be easy to blame the company or other people, especially when it’s validated, but what would they gain by looking at the situation from a different perspective?
I would imagine that the last thing they want to do is create a pattern of the same situation, different company, as the grass really isn’t always greener. What a worker can do to help them make a decision as to stay or go is to ask themselves a few simple questions such as:
“What attracted me to this company/position in the first place?”
“What is it that I’m running away from or is it that I’m trying to go towards a better career choice?”
“Assuming that I haven’t done everything to improve my current situation, what else can I do?”
Sometimes I find that people are avoiding having a conversation with an influential person that can change their situation but they don’t out of fear. I then want to know what it is that they are really afraid of.
– What should workers/job seekers know about today’s job market?
What job seekers should know about today’s market is that employers have gotten really specific in making sure that a candidate’s qualifications match the requirements for the job. If your resume is going through a database, key words are being filtered through and it’s a matter of how many of those key phrases match up.
There is power in networking and using a site such as LinkedIn to connect with people to maximize your opportunity search. Tell people you know that you’re in the market and don’t be afraid to connect with old coworkers or ask to be introduced to someone. You never know where those conversations might lead you.
– How can workers safely search and find a new job before leaving their current role?
The best way a worker can safely looking for a new job before leaving their current position is to be conscientious about their behavior. Conduct yourself in a way that you can feel good about now and later.
Be realistic about how honest you can be with certain individuals and be careful about who you tell regarding your career change plans. Make sure you use your own equipment such as a personal cell phone and computer and make sure to do it on your own time.
It can be tempting to look online while at work, but you never know who is looking over your shoulder or how the IT department could track your online activity. You can also request that a potential employer maintain confidentiality about your interview if your current employer doesn’t know you’re looking.
– How can workers determine what factors are important to them in their next workplace and role?
Determining what factors are important to you in your next workplace or role can be fun. An exercise I have personally used and encourage my clients to use is to “Create Your Ideal Job.” Create a list of all of your “desirables” and don’t censor yourself. Even if you start to hear that voice in your head that says “you can’t have that!” You never know.
Get specific about all of the things that are important to you that you want to have in your next job. Here are a few ideas: the company reputation, your office space, the people in it, the benefits, location, commute, desired salary, the resources you’ll have to use, the training program, management styles, growth opportunities, hours, and company culture.
Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”