Most folks seek to change everything when embarking on a job search process. Many believe they will be more satisfied in a different work environment, company, industry, or even a different location. We seek a significant definable change as we embark on our job search, all the time hoping our change everything approach will fix what is wrong in our current work situation!
We also tend to dwell on the negative things that affect us and overlook good things. If you are anxious about a change in your career, here are a few things to consider before leaving your current position.
We often fail to go granular in our research of why the current job or the company is no longer a fit. For example, we do not consider the employment conditions currently working for or against us.
1. Is it our discontent with the team politics or undercurrents of general team dissatisfaction? Or is it workload stress, undelivered promotions, low wages, unaligned vision/goals, or work-life balance? Is the lack of management support, training, or the increasing cost of benefits causing your unhappiness in your current role?
2. It is a good idea to look at all these factors to ascertain the root of your frustration. Use what you learn in looking at these factors as benchmarks as you review and interview for new positions.
We often forget to do a self-evaluation. Are you a top performer? If not, seek feedback from your supervisor or trusted teammates regarding your competencies. Then brush up your skills with the needed training or classes to beef up the skills that could be key for securing your next position.
Here are a few other areas to consider.
1. Investigate the option of job searching within your current company. Job searching within your company makes good sense—research job opportunities within your company, its branches, or sister companies. There might be an opportunity at another local branch in other cities or states. Could this be the case for your organization?
2. Consider going forward in your career by going backward. How about job searching within one of your former companies? Is there support from former colleagues for your new adventure? This is vital, as many seek their next job through secure networking with former colleagues.
3. Plan out your internal and external job search; both can run in parallel. Develop and write down your goals, actions, and feedback steps. Track and evaluate your progress in these areas, and make reasonable adjustments to the “got to get out of here” timeline.
4. The job search process is often overwhelming, time-consuming, and sometimes devoid of favorable feedback. Breaking your job search into steps will help you identify and evaluate your progress or possible stumbling blocks.
5. Do a bi-weekly assessment of your outcomes, and commit to a bi-weekly review of your job search status. Give your job search quality time, and remember to nurture the other parts of your life, family, volunteer work, and hobbies.
Now may also be the time for an attitude adjustment. It is crucial to assess and monitor your attitude. Be methodical and deliberate in your job search and fight the temptation to grab the first reasonable offer because you are anxious to leave and are concerned about missing your completion deadline. And although difficult to admit, you may need to accept that while you are ready to make the job or career change, the emotional investment of your nearest and dearest may be bordering on ambivalent, disinterested interest.
Finally, be prepared to discover that job searching and career exploration can be a lonely business, so be kind, supportive and nuturing towards yourself as you hit unexpected bumps. As Neil Barringham, Mental Health Expert and Manager of A Place to Belong, once said: “The grass is greener where you water it.”