Whether you’ve known it for a while or you just realized it, one thing is for sure: It’s time to find a new job. It’s not as simple as putting your mind to it, though. There is a lot to consider as you move from one position to another. Even if you’re a well-organized person, it can be hard to keep track of everything you need to do.
The process won’t be the same for everyone, but some tidbits of advice ring true in just about every employment search. Here’s our best guidance: seven of the most vital things to keep in mind as you search for a new job.
1. The Time It Took to Come to a Decision
Perhaps the most important thing to do in this process is to give yourself time before you switch careers. Don’t let one bad day push you into making a rash decision — instead, think through your options for as long as you need to decide what your next move will be.
The solution you arrive at might be completely different than the one you come up with in the heat of the moment — and you’ll realize you’re lucky you had time to figure out the right move, instead of a hasty one.
2. The New-Job Logistics
As you start putting out feelers regarding a new job, you should brush up on the questions you’ll want to ask your potential new employers. Learning about the work-life balance, the sociability of the office, the opportunities for advancement and more will help you decide what role is ultimately right for that.
On top of that, you need to figure out what characteristics you’ll want your new company to have. How long will your commute be? What are the organization’s values?
3. Your Accomplishments
In your current job, it’s likely you’ve accomplished quite a bit. However, without a new position on the horizon, you probably haven’t spent that much time reflecting on these achievements. It’s helpful to review all the knowledge and abilities comprising your skill set.
Not only will you use this experience to update your resume, but it will be your stepping stone into a better, more challenging position. Knowing everything you did in your current post will help sell you to new employers.
4. Your Finances
Right now, you have a regular paycheck coming in, and perhaps benefits come with that sum of money, too. In the interim between your current job and a new one, though, you likely won’t have these resources to rely on.
So, be sure you know how much money you have saved, how much you spend per month on required expenses and what benefits you’ll lose when you quit your current job. Research what will happen with your health insurance in your home state, as that is vitally important. If you have a plan in place to survive the period between jobs, you can leave with less fear.
5. Your Reasons for Wanting a Change
There’s at least one reason your current role is no longer working for you. Perhaps you need more of a challenge, or you hope to redirect your career into a new area. No matter what inspired you to switch jobs, you need to figure it out and ensure every new position you consider will give you what you want — it’s up to you to know exactly what that is, and seek it out.
6. Your Connections
Everyone, from your former college professors to the person you chatted with at a professional event, is a potential contact as you search for a new job. Don’t be afraid to use your network to try and find a new job — just make sure you do it right.
For starters, you don’t want to reach out when you realize you’re going to need help. Instead, start a conversation before you dive back into the job search so your contacts don’t view your inquiry as overly opportunistic. Follow up with everyone, be genuine in your requests and be patient.
7. Your Ultimate Goals
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? It’s the ultimate I-need-a-new-job question you have to ask yourself. That’s because the dreams you have shouldn’t remain in the back of your mind — they should always be at the forefront as you make career decisions.
So, before you hop back into the job-search pool, ask yourself: What do I want? Let the visions of grandeur, work-life balance or travel — whatever you desire most — guide you toward the perfect job now and in the future.
Find What You’re Looking For
With these seven things on your mind, you’re more than prepared to start a job search. That’s because you know what you need, what you want, what you’re worth and who can help you reach the top — where you belong. All you have left to do is find that perfect role, which means all you need to do is get started.