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Is now a good time to leave my employer?

Is now a good time to leave my employer?

Is now a good time to leave my employer?
October 13
18:04 2017


This was a question asked recently by a manager who had been hanging on to a job for years even though she is driving 45 miles each way and is overqualified for the position. She stayed because of job security rather than leaving in a tight job market where good jobs were difficult to find.

Today’s job market is thriving with the latest unemployment rate hovering at 4.2 percent and that’s good news if you are job searching. Even with a healthy marketplace, before you start searching for a new opportunity the same caution applies with any career move, take the time to realistically understand the market demands for your qualifications and skills.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is leaping into a new job without thoroughly understanding your value and employer’s needs. When the job market is hot, it could be a good time to make a move,  but taking the time to conduct research before you make a change can pay off in unexpected ways.

For example, an inside sales rep once left for another opportunity that seemed so much better than her previous employer. The new company offered a flexible work schedule and more pay that seemed like a dream, but one year later she was laid off due to the company losing a major contract. The lesson learned, use you network to gather research on the stability and demands for the company’s product before leaving your job.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side even though it may feel like it, gather data to help you make a good decision and one you won’t later regret.

If you are thinking about starting a job search while you are employed, here are some tips to consider:

  • Show respect for your present employer. If you are job searching on your employer’s time, chances are you will repeat the same behavior with your new employer. Hiring decision makers know this.  Never job search on your employer’s computer, everything you do online can be viewed and probably is to some degree.
  • Be discreet with your social networking. Don’t say anything you later would regret about your previous employer. Announcing you are looking for another position is risky. Regardless of your career field, industries are smaller than you think and most everyone is connected in some way to one another.
  • Anticipate upcoming changes. It’s always a good habit to pay attention to cues around you. Such as changes in leadership, financial stability, freezes in budgets and hiring needs. Keep a sharp lookout for changes and developing a plan of action long before your job is in jeopardy.
  • Build relationships before you need them. One of the most uncomfortable aspects of a job search is the feeling you should make relationships because you need too. Meeting new people and reconnecting with friends is different when there is no pressure.
  • Start researching the marketplace and determine where your skills are in demand. Read as much as possible and develop a target list of companies that interest you.
  • Seek confidential references who support your interest in changing jobs. Be sensitive toward others who could be put in an awkward situation of supporting your desire to change.
  • Know why you want to leave outside of an increase in compensation. No doubt that money is important but it does not guarantee happiness in a job. For example, a finance manager who was ready to leave his job was making more money than he thought possible yet he couldn’t enjoy it because he was working seven days a week.
  • Develop self-awareness. Know your strengths and be ready to talk about them as well as your areas of growth.

During a hot job market competition for good jobs remains but the candidate that often lands an offer is not necessarily the most qualified, rather the one who communicates clearly and builds rapport.

Know why you are a good match for the employer’s needs, understand their needs, and most of all paint a verbal picture of what you would be like as an employee.

Even if you decide that staying put is in your best interest, look for ways to continually add to your employer’s success.

What are your thoughts about changing jobs?  When is the best time?

 



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