Think Twice Before You Jump to a New Job
You've got the itch to change jobs. This might be a good time to make the
The Wall Street Journal has just reported, "Job-seekers from rank-and-file
workers to senior executives are preparing their resumes for what may be the
strongest fall hiring season in years."
"Before you jump to a new job, be certain you have good, sound reasons for
wanting to make a change," advises Ramon Greenwood, senior career counselor at
CommonSenseAtWork.com. "You may believe you can accelerate your career with a
new job. You may be bored or running away from personal problems."
First, ask yourself, "Are there things I can do to make my present situation
Don't be lulled into believing that the grass will necessarily be greener in
another pasture. Or that a new pasture will be a great deal different from the
one you are grazing in now.
Except in the most extreme reasons, do not leave your present job until you
have another one firmly in hand. If it was ever true that a bird in hand is
worth two in the bush, it is when a job is concerned. Remember, it is always
easier to get a job when you have one.
What Do You Want?
Take the time to figure out what you really want to do.
What will it take to make you happier? It is not enough to know what you want
to change from; you need to know what you want to change to.
Be specific in answering these questions. Don't allow yourself to be driven
by a sense of vague malaise to make a change just for the sake of change. If you
can't spell out in writing the valid reasons you want to move to a new job and
be equally specific about what you want that job to be, don't set the process in
Recognize that you are contemplating a serious and difficult undertaking,
even under the best of circumstances. There is always some risk to your present
situation when you start looking around. What will your present employer think
if the word gets around that you are "looking"? At best, the whole process is
usually disruptive and can be traumatic for you and your loved ones. Determine
that you have the courage to live with the dangers and uncertainties of making a
Survey the situation. Be sure there is a market for the skills you have to
offer where you want to live.
If You Go, Go Full Speed Ahead
If, after giving the matter careful thought, you are convinced you would be
better off in a new situation, go for it full speed ahead. The search for a new
job is not a time for half-measures. To vacillate between courting new employers
and sitting back in a coy mode, hoping to be courted, will surely breed
frustration. Mount a campaign and invest whatever time and energy are required
to reach your objective.
If you have something to offer that the market wants, you will find a new
job. However, it will take time. There may come a point when you decide that by
comparison your present situation looks quite attractive. So you may decide to
stay put, at least for the time being. So don't burn bridges behind you.
And don't worry about there being a stigma attached to changing jobs. A lot
of other people are shopping for new jobs at any given time. It has been
estimated that today's college graduates can expect that on average they will
have held eight different jobs by the time they are 40.
In fact, some personnel recruiters argue that your resume will be stronger if
it shows some changes in jobs, so long as the reasons for changing are positive.
Ramon Greenwood is Senior Career Counselor for
www.CommonSenseAtWork.com. He is
a former Senior Vice President at American Express, a published author and
syndicated columnist, a professional director and an entrepreneur.