How to Quit Your Job and Start a New Career
Somewhere between New Year's free flowing champagne and getting hit with deadlines upon your return to the rat race, you probably made an impulsive resolution to switch jobs. Time off during the holidays can lead to such introspection, so who can blame you?
But is it a good idea, in this economy, to jump ship? Some important considerations before you swagger into the manager's office with your resignation:
1. Do you have a clear idea of what you'd like to do?
It's not enough to like what you do, you have to do what you like. Rather than finding those one or two things that don't stink about your current job, you need to be in a fulfilling career that you could conceivably stick with until retirement.
2. Is your new idea appropriate for the current economic situation?
This is a tough time for self-employment. Credit is difficult to come by and small companies are closing shop every day. Larger firms are looking in-house for solutions and firing the consultants. Only consider leaving if your skills are in great enough demand that you might realistically find work quickly.
3. Is there advancement potential at your current job?
You may hate your position now, but would you stay if you had a fair shot of moving up? Don't expect it to happen quickly, as companies are laying off mid- and upper-level management right now. Anyone who survives the pink slip carnage can probably assume that their employer considers their skills and work ethic valuable, and you'd have a good chance of moving up once the economic situation improves.
4. Why do you want to leave?
Bad management, lack of incentives, and zero advancement opportunities are good reasons to leave. Annoying co-workers, reduction of bonuses or raises, or general dissatisfaction are likely poor reasons. With jobs as scarce as they are, you should consider yourself lucky to be employed at all. Sometimes a job is a means to an end - paying off school loans, gaining experience, or networking. Be sure you are leaving for the right reasons.
If you've decided that now is the time to switch jobs, prepare yourself properly:
1. Hiring managers are flooded with resumes these days, so make sure your CV is loaded with keywords specific to the position you seek. Infrastructure development, team building, project management...
2. Market yourself as the solution to the company's problem. Research the position advertised and respond in kind. It's like buying a car - you know what features you need, and so does the employer.
3. Use your connections. The oldest trick in the book is still the most effective! Call in favors, attend industry events, shake hands and pass around your card. Put yourself in the spotlight.
4. Cover your bases. List with an employment agency, knock on doors, and create an online professional profile. For example: LinkedIn.com is like Facebook for job hunters and networkers.
Do you have a tip for a job jumper?
by Claire Rahn
More on Career & Finance
Another great post! :o) I am forwarding it to a friend who is having trouble making this very decision right now!
Great tips, both of you!
Good tips, Claire! I do have a suggestion for job jumpers - basically
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