In our busy world it is difficult to make changes without planning. Buying a new house, new relationships and changing jobs are a few examples of the most overwhelming time in our life. Without planning, they can seem almost impossible and cause you to make the wrong decision.
Changing jobs is very stressful, and the idea of “sneaking around” behind an employer is taxing.
Here some tips on planning a successful career transition:
Set out and clarify your career goals.
This is the step that most people miss. They know that their current place of employment is not working, so they know exactly what they don’t want, but don’t plan where they’d like to go instead. Think about company culture, career advancement, location, flexibility, management, and income. Remember, this isn’t a wish list, but a plan of action. Set priorities and good things will follow.
Open a new personal e-mail account just for your job search.
This is one of the first things you need to do as it will be one of the primary channels of communication between you and prospective employers. This is for your career search only. Cover your bases. Personal e-mail accounts are usually safe, but if they are forwarded to your work account or smart phone, they will cycle through your employers e-mail server and could get you caught.
Update your resume.
Rule of thumb here is that you should be updating your resume every year, so this is something you should already be doing on a regular basis. The regular rules of resume writing still applies here. Submit your resume the way you would submit a candidate to your hiring manager.
Reach out to your personal network.
If you know someone who works at a company you are interested in, take them out for coffee and pick their brain on working there. Get referred into an appropriate hiring authority. Many companies have referral bonuses. Your friends will be more than happy to put you in contact.
Connect with a Recruiter who knows your industry.
A good recruiter will know everything about your industry, including who is hiring and standard salary ranges. Take the time to meet and understand the Recruitment Professional to understand how they work. Agree to certain terms for your search as you do not want to be bombarded with every job opportunity simply because your terms were too loose. As well, every company you have already represented yourself to should be communicated with your Recruitment Professional.
Get your professional and personal references in line.
Make sure the business and personal contacts are aware that you would like to use them as a reference. If you are in a small industry where everyone knows everyone, it can be risky.
Plan ahead on getting out of the office for potential interviews.
Taking sick days, coming in late or leaving early several times a week will raise suspicion. Plan whole days off or work-from-home days where you can step out for a couple of hours to “run errands”.
If you have to leave directly from your current office and you have to maintain the business casual attire, plan on an outfit that can be upgraded when you leave. For gentlemen, it can be as easy as adding a blazer and a tie. Or even changing your shirt in your car and adding the tie and jacket. Maybe even switch from loafers to dress shoes. For the ladies, changing shoes and adding sharp accessories can dress up a casual outfit.
Taking the time to plan will ease the stress and make your search an enjoyable one. It may take some time to find that right career move.
I would love to hear more suggestions on how to make any job search more enjoyable and safe for everyone.
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