New Year New Job: Part 2 Know What You’re Searching For

New Year New Job is series on changing jobs in the new year.
Be sure to check out New Year New Job Part 1: The Job Search Checklist 

How many times have you said in frustration, “I don’t care what my next job is, I just want out of here!!!!”  We’ve all either said it or thought it at some point.  This is not the time to start looking for a new job.  Ideally we’re able to identify the need to change jobs prior to that point.  Either way, jumping ship to just any job wont solve the problem.  This means it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions about what you want to do next.  Here are a few to get you started:

Do I want to stay in the same industry?

This is a vital question to ask when considering a career change.  While I’m a firm believer staying open to what the universe has to offer, knowing whether or not you want to change industries should be step one in your search.  It will determine who you reach out to in your network, the companies you target, etc.  The same is true if you decide to change industries.  Have a good idea where you want your next career move to take you but don’t hold so steadfast to the ideal that you miss opportunities that may come your way.

Do I want to stay in the same geographic area?

Perhaps it’s time for a change of scenery or maybe you love the town you live in and can’t imagine living anywhere else. As you speak to recruiters, talent scouts, and potential employers you need to know where you’re willing to relocate to or how far you’re willing to commute.  If you live in a city where 1-2 hour commutes are typical than you you likely wont have to consider relocation as much as someone who requires a less than 30 minute commute.

Am I seeking a promotion or would I consider a lateral move or even a step back for the right opportunity?

If you simply can’t progress any further up the corporate ladder but otherwise love your job, you’re likely only willing to leave if the move means a promotion.  Perhaps you’ve outgrown the culture or are looking for opportunities that aren’t necessarily on the same ladder that you’re climbing now. If this is the case you’re more likely to consider a lateral move or even a step back for the right opportunities.  These moves, when done right, can propel your career forward in ways you might not have ever realized.

Do other people know I’m consider a move?

In another lifetime a colleague, who I thought knew I was struggling at work, remarked when I left my job, “I had no idea you were unhappy. You really put on a good face.” I would have told you I had given every sign I could think of, short of getting on my knees and begging her to help me find a new job, that I was unhappy.  It was a great reminder that other people are busy with their careers and it’s my job to speak up if I want someone’s help.  Don’t presume someone knows or understands your struggle.  If you want to make a move and think someone you trust can help, speak up.

Who are my trusted resources to turn to?

I often refer to this as “the short list”.  Know who the people are you can trust with your career.  They’re likely the same people who you would trust with your ailing grandmother or your children.  Finding a new job in this economy can be cut throat so it’s important to know who you can trust.  Follow your gut and only share things with people you know you can rely on.

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