Changing jobs can be a necessary and positive decision, but it’s far from a simple switch. When weighing whether a new job is the right move for you, consider three key areas: your past, your present and your future.
This kind of evaluation will save you time and heartache and will ensure you’re making the best choice for yourself, the company you’re leaving, and the company you’re joining.
“When weighing whether a new job is the right move for you, consider three key areas: your past, your present and your future.”
Look at Your Current Situation (Past)
The first step is to look at where you are right now and ask yourself some clarifying questions.
- Why aren’t you happy?
- What’s leaving you unsatisfied in your current role?
- What’s not right, and what could be better?
- Is this important enough to make a move?
When you have definite answers to these questions, you can better plan your next steps. Are you really ready to leave your company? Could a conversation with your manager solve the problems you outlined? See if you can adapt your current role to better suit your needs and goals.
Maybe you could transfer to another department that better fits you, or take on new responsibilities that further your career development. Maybe your current employer has a more unique position or opportunity for you than a new company would. Remember that your company likely wants you to stay. You have valuable goodwill built up with them; don’t underestimate it!
Look at the Present and Yourself (Present)
Before you dust off your resume and start submitting applications, take time to evaluate yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What blind spots do you need help to address?
Define these clearly, and then take stock of your experience. How will it translate into the future? Has your current role prepared you for where you want to be? If not, what steps can you take to bridge that gap?
At this stage, make the most of your network. Find people who are in the field or position you want to be in and get in touch. A lot of people are surprisingly happy to give advice over a call or even coffee. Ask them the following questions:
- What skills will I need to excel in this position?
- What do you wish you’d known earlier on the path to where you are now?
- What blind spots did you have before coming into this role?
This advice will help you to realistically identify areas for growth that would be harder to see on your own.
Look at the Company You’re Joining (Future)
If you have a specific company or field in mind, you need to do your research in advance. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your priorities for a future role?
- What are your must-haves and your nice-to-haves?
- What are your goals, and will this new job get you there?
I recently debriefed a candidate after their interview with a client, and they concluded our conversation by realizing that they weren’t ready to leave their current job. While this can happen to even the most prepared candidate, really considering the three keys above in advance will help you avoid false starts and wasted time.
When you get back to the basics, to what you really want, you won’t be distracted by seemingly attractive offers that don’t actually meet your needs. Although deciding whether to accept a new position can be challenging, you remove much of the stress when you know what your top priorities are, what you want to achieve, and whether an opportunity aligns with your goals.
“Find people who are in the field or position you want to be in and get in touch. A lot of people are surprisingly happy to give advice over a call or even coffee.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the future; new challenges and new opportunities are exciting. But make sure you remember to consider your past and your present as well. The answers you find as you walk through these three keys will help you define your goals, evaluate your trajectory, and move in the direction to achieve your career goals.
Once you’ve considered your past, present, and future and determined you’re interested in entering the job market, BVOH Search & Consulting is here to help. Reach out to a member of our team, or search for opportunities on our website to get started.
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