Making A Career Move Requires a Strategy

I always advise my clients who are looking for a new job to do some soul searching first. Before you jump to something new, there are a series of steps you should follow. 

But if following that analysis, you’ve decided that it is time to leave your current job, you owe to yourself to begin developing your job search strategy. 

The first decision you need to make is whether you are looking for a job in your current field or whether this is the time to pursue a new career, including one that you’ve dreamt about in the past.  If you want to change careers, you need to investigate your options and skills to make sure you will be happy. You might want to consider meeting with a career counselor or someone in that field to be sure the reality of the position matches what you think it might be. Remember, you don’t want to change jobs only to find out that you are just as unhappy. 

Are people who work in that field pleased with their growth opportunities?  What do they enjoy most, and what are their greatest frustrations?

Will you need additional training before you can be seriously considered for that type of job?

Are there opportunities for you to freelance in that field so you can try it out before making a move?

Another question to research is whether companies in your new field are secure during difficult economic times. 

What will you earn? Be aware that starting a new career, or even a new job, is starting over. You may not be able to command your current salary. That might be ok because I’ve known people who are much happier after transferring to lower-paid jobs with less stress. If that is the situation you face, consider a trial run at living on whatever the new job might pay. You might want to save some money to act as a cushion should an emergency arise after you are earning a reduced salary. 

If, after all of this research, you are confident that you are ready to make a move, it is time to build your resume, and begin to look for opportunities. 

Despite all the research, some people are still reluctant to make the switch.  Fear of something new impacts some more than others. If that is you, come to grips with why you have these concerns, especially when you began the process because of your current unhappiness. Ask yourself, what is the nature of your fear?  What is the worst that could happen if you are equally unhappy in a new job when compared with your old one?  If that happens, would you want to return to your old job or career?  Would that be possible?

Let’s say you even get a job offer that you decide to decline, how will you feel about your future career options?

The more you think about and research your future opportunities, the more likely you are to have a clear picture of what you will face and the satisfaction you are likely to enjoy in a new job or profession. 

Looking for a job can be tricky.  I have reviewed thousands of applications in my career, so I know what will make yours stand out.  I’ve put all of my tips together in an online course. “Getting The Job You Want” Check it out.  I know it will help you be successful at your job search.

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