It’s 2016! Maybe your new year’s resolution is to find a new job. After all, the employment outlook has improved. But before you look for greener pastures, be sure that you are making a good decision.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself before you embark upon your job search:
1) Have I explored all options in my current organization? Sometimes the grass only looks greener on the other side. If you are in a large enough organization, it is possible that there are options that you have not yet explored internally. So before jumping ship, it only makes sense to take a careful look at all potential opportunities where you are. Many people have been in the unfortunate situation of leaving an organization only to find that they had a better situation where they were, but they did not realize it until they left.
2) What are my real reasons for wanting to move on? No matter what is driving you to make that move, you should be clear in your own mind as to what that driver is. When you know why you are quitting, you can then take steps to ensure that those needs are met in your next company. For example, if you feel the need to find another position in another organization, it might be because you need better work-life balance. You may be putting in an inordinate amount of hours at work that is leaving you no personal time. If that is the case, then you need to intentionally look for the type of position and type of organization that does not demand that you spend every waking hour working for the company. Without this type of intentionality, you could end up going from the frying pan to the fire.
3) How will this change positively or negatively impact not just my career but also my personal life? It is easy to be dazzled by a bigger job title and/or a raise in pay, but what is the tradeoff? Life is all about tradeoffs. There is no completely perfect situation. You should be honest with yourself and think through what is most important to you. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day, and it’s up to you to choose how you use that time. More time at work means less time at home and vice versa.
4) How thoroughly have I researched my options outside of my organization? My motto is, “You can’t make a good decision without good information.” In order to know what your options are and how they stack up against what you currently have, you have to do your due diligence. Do you know all of the types of organizations that hire people with your skill set? Do you know the best places to job hunt? Are you aware of how transferable your skills are and how much you can command in the marketplace?
5) If the situation is completely intolerable and I have to quit before I have another job, how much time can I afford to remain unemployed? Generally speaking, people are usually overly optimistic when it comes to thinking about unemployment. Especially if they have never had a problem landing a job before, they can be unrealistic in their estimation of how long it might take to find that next position.
As the saying goes, “Look before you leap!”
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