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  • How to determine if a new job is your next step

    The change over into the New Year often brings with it the urge to start fresh. Current employment, where a person spends most of her or his time and efforts during the day, is largely one of the first targeted things that a person will consider changing. It may (or may not be) time to make that change in your life!

    Person writing resume in response to job newspaper ad

    Keep the following considerations in mind as you’re making a decision.

    Considerations

    Before jumping ship and looking for a new job, evaluate if you are in the proper position to make a job change without dramatically affecting your financial and mental well-being. Several factors you need to consider are:

    • Why do I want to change my job?
    • What would I hope for in a position that my current employment doesn’t offer?
    • Can I afford to move if my new position is not commutable from where I live now?
    • Have I spent a reasonable amount of time at my current position?
    • What do I find unfulfilling at my current place of work?
    • Can I take on more responsibilities and is there an opportunity to move upward?

    Deep soul-searching before committing to a change in employment is important – you may find that you are simply in a rut and need a change of schedule. In that case you should switch up your routine to spice up your new year.

    However, in some cases current employment is the source of unrest in your life. You may be going through the motions at your current job, reached the extent of your ability to grow there, or even can’t get past the company culture. In this case, it is definitely time for a change in scenery.

    Woman searching for Jobs on her laptop at a caféAccording to Monster.com it takes an average of 12 weeks to find and start a new job. [1]

    Your next steps

    So you’ve decided to leave your current job. Now what?

    Of course it will vary from situation to situation, but here are three steps you should take before leaving your current employer.

    1. Start the search. This may feel like common sense, but it will be stated anyway: Don’t quit your job without any leads or offers for a new one! As you start searching for new jobs, keep an eye out for how many openings that align with your specific career goals exist in your market. During your search, you may finds that there aren’t a lot of openings. This would be a good sign to wait it out at your current employer and keep an ear to the ground until a new position that fits you comes along. Don’t unnecessarily rush along the process.
    2. Notify your supervisor. Don’t burn any bridges with your soon-to-be previous employer. This means keeping your work at the level of quality expected and giving them ample notification that you have been offered, or are looking for, another position. They will appreciate the time given to post the position and look for someone till fill the vacancy. Situation dependent, you will generally want to give them two to six weeks notice. Two weeks is considered standard, but depending on how essential and specialized you are at your current position, you should consider giving more than two weeks.
    3. Think through the finances. Changing jobs mean not only changes in employment but your salary as well, and it could be for the better or the worse. Think through how much of a hit to your take-home income you can afford, and whether it would be worth it in the long run. Be sure to also factor in the possibility of moving costs, because a new company may not pay for relocation. If you have enough saved up regardless of what happens, go for it! But if you can’t afford relocation, it may narrow down your opportunities depending on your market and willingness to commute.

    Making the shift to a new job is a big decision, and for some it is the right decision. Before making any life-altering decisions, be sure to think through your options and make sure you will come out happier on the other side.

    [1] How long does it really take to get a job?, Monster.com



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