New Year, New Job? Three Questions to Answer Before you Begin a Job Search
As the calendar rolls over to 2020, the tight labor market shows no signs of loosening. That, combined with the tendency of people to consider making changes in their lives at the beginning of the year, likely means a slew of new job seekers in the coming weeks. If you think you might be one of them, consider these three questions before you start to make your move.
Am I really ready to leave or hoping to leverage an offer for a better package with my current employer?
If your answer isn’t a strong “yes” to the first part of question, you’re better off staying put. If you fall into the latter category, keep in mind that strong candidates who are properly marketed to hiring managers will likely receive offers faster than they might think. And while you may very well be able to parlay your offer into more money from your current employer, there’s a good chance you’ll end up leaving within a year anyway—and in the process, potentially burn your bridges with both the company that made you the new job offer and the company that countered. Better to have a discussion with your supervisor about why you’re concerned about compensation. Depending on the outcome of that discussion, you can then make an informed decision about whether you should stay (assuming you like everything else about your position) or if it’s time to move on.
What are my “non-negotiables”
Employers today are very willing to work with the right candidates to make sure they don’t get away. So, it’s important that you identify the three or four job attributes that are necessary for you to say “yes.” Is it a minimum salary? Flexible scheduling, i.e., working from home three days a week? A specific number of vacation days? A guaranteed performance review with opportunity for advancement within a set period? Once you know what’s essential, you and the organization are in a much better position to work together on an offer that works for both.
What’s your plan?
Once you’re ready to find a new job, you’ll need a plan to find the right job. Yes, there are many positions available but that doesn’t mean it’s a matter of simply updating and sending your resume, then waiting for the offers to start rolling in. You’ll need a personal marketing plan, including a 20-second “commercial” about yourself that you can use to make a powerful first impression, a strategy for where, when and how to network, and an understanding of the type of organization you want to target. A good starting point is to work with a career coach to complete a thorough self-assessment that will provide you with the information and insights to create your personalized career plan.