The beginning of the calendar year is a perfect time to focus on your job prospects. Photo by Andrew Neal.
I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. But for those of you who are, here’s a catch: “This is the year I get a new job!”
Honestly, most of us have to keep finding the perfect job on our annual to-do list. Regardless, this position is perfect for you and ticks all the attribute boxes – strong company, supportive boss, high job satisfaction, learning and growth opportunities, ability to make a difference, job security, and continuous growth and development. reasonable compensation. If not, it’s time to look for new opportunities.
Job seekers basically have three options: (1) move to a new, better job at your current company or organization; (2) finding a new job in another company or organization; or (3) starting a new career in another field. (The fourth option is to “hang up the shingle” and start your own consulting, which requires a completely different mindset and approach.) Which of these options you choose depends on your short- and long-term goals.
Read the overview below to help you put each strategy into perspective so you can start the new year with a fresh perspective.
Move to a better job in your current company or organization
Changing jobs does not always mean changing employers. A nonprofit executive I had placed at another employer years ago came to see me for advice. She now has a great job at a reputable non-profit organization and her job has many of the qualities listed above. Without that, she didn’t see the way to more responsibilities and opportunities to make a bigger difference – and in marketing and development, she could transfer those skills to many other options outside the organization.
At the same time, the new CEO had created a position for a chief operating officer and this executive was considering applying for the job. I first pointed out that the COO position required strong financial and great administrative management, all of which she was able to do but not her strong suit. Then, because her main strength was very external, I suggested that she not apply for a new job, but rather think about what the organization needs and how she can contribute more to its success.
She noted that the Department of Education has been without a leader for a year and is interested in the development of non-governmental organizations at the international level. We discussed how he could propose an idea to the CEO—to create a new position where he would not only continue his current responsibilities but also take over these two departments. Long story short, she is now Senior Vice President of Foreign and International Affairs and is also responsible for Education.
The takeaway from this story is that your direct supervisor (or CEO) may not always understand your abilities or interests or how you can best serve the organization. What’s more, it’s helpful to know that the best employees are those who don’t just do their jobs; They look for other things to do, go ahead, and do it. You will go ahead!
Find a new job in another company or organization
What if there are no other opportunities in your current organization, or your company’s culture and values don’t align with your own? Another reason many people change jobs is that they can no longer work for their “lazy” or ungrateful (or even abusive) supervisors.
If any of these scenarios are true, make a commitment to yourself to seek change. Don’t give up, and don’t procrastinate – the sooner you decide to change jobs, the better you’ll start to feel. In future posts, I will give you advice on how to find a job with another employer, but first, you must commit to change.
In the meantime, here are a few ideas:
- Getting a new job is practically a task in itself; Be prepared to work diligently.
- Continue working in your current position as if you never left. There may be projects that will take some time to complete, and you may not be available to complete them, so you may wonder why you should bother getting involved in them. The easy answer is: it may take you longer than you imagine to leave your current position (see below). andYou are paid to do your current job. You’ll also want a positive reference, so keep doing your homework as much as possible.
- And, because you’re being paid, don’t look for a new job while you’re at the company. As interesting as it may sound, you don’t want potential employers to call you while you’re at work and you don’t want to leave work for an interview. It is very difficult to quit as a full-time employee, but you can take as much personal time as you need to conduct your job search. (No employer will blame you for scheduling interviews around your work schedule.)
- Be patient – finding a new job will take time. Expect at least three to four months for a middle management position and even longer for the right senior executive job. Just stick with it and remember that there are more openings in the market today than there are job seekers. The odds are in your favor.
Start a new career in another field
For those of us in the later stages of our working lives, know that it’s never too late to start a new career. For those just starting out, it’s never too late – you may have fallen into your current job and weren’t planning to stay anyway. To everyone, hey, you only live once.
Consider these tips as you consider your next move:
- Do your homework: There are alternative careers you know about and there are those you don’t. I remember one of my smartest college classmates had a summer job as a coffee tipper, which was unheard of in those pre-Starbucks days. Start with what you know but explore other possibilities as well. Talk to people in different fields, check out courses at colleges or other educational institutions (you don’t have to take them but be aware of what’s offered), scan online job posting sites, and Volunteer at an organization you love. You never know what will pique your interest.
- Filter the possibilities: If high pay is a priority, you may want to eliminate certain occupations from the walkthrough. Starting a career with tough competition may not bring great results, especially if you don’t have the necessary skills. As long as you choose, try and succeed in whatever fits your lifestyle – flexible hours, lots of travel (or no travel), ability to give back to the community, whatever your are important for You’ll eventually want to zero in on just a few options to avoid spreading yourself too thin, but now is the time to explore everything you can.
- Be patient: Landing a new career will take months longer than changing jobs. Enjoy the journey!
Hopefully, you’re feeling energized and ready to hit the ground running in 2023. And if you’re still on the fence, be sure to read my next post about working for yourself and using your skills as an independent consultant.
happy new year!