Looking for a new job is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Occasionally I meet people who are angry or frustrated about a current situation at work. Depending on the circumstances they often say, “That’s it, I’ve had enough. I am going to look for a new job.”
I am always curious to learn not only what events have brought an individual to this decision, but what is more important to me, how long they have felt this way. As we all know, making important decisions without appropriate forethought can have regrettable consequences.
You might think as a recruiter it’s in my interest to capitalize on a person’s frustration and focus on the potential of a resulting placement and fee. However, decisions made too quickly without investing considerable thought about a job change will often just as rapidly reverse when a job offer is presented because when reality suddenly hits them, they will instead make excuses about why they should instead stay where they are.
I’ve seen many ways people rationalize making a move only to back down and not follow through when the decision time arrives. My point is that if you are going to invest the time to look for a job, first take the time to consider your reasons to ensure this is something you in fact are willing to do and interested in doing.
And if you are not serious, then wasting other’s time only to boost your own ego is ill advised. If when you accept a new job, you cannot resign your position confidently, there must still be some unanswered questions or topics unresolved with either the company you want to join or the company you claim you want to leave. Indecisiveness will not reflect well on your career and reputation.
Some questions to consider
Everyone has an occasional bad day or a week here and there, and no job is without its periodic difficulties. Even if things are going well, who knows, perhaps an opportunity will present itself that might be just what you are looking for. But generally, surveys have shown people usually deliberate for three to six months before they actually begin to actively look for a new opportunity. The more thoroughly a person has considered their decision, the more likely they will follow through with accepting a new position.
To make this determination I ask some of the following questions:
· What is happening in your current situation causing you to consider a new job?
· How long has this been going on?
· How long have you considered making a change?
· What is missing in your current role?
· What aspects of a new role would attract you?
· If you resign, what could your current employer do or say to keep you from leaving?
If I speak with a person with whom I have doubt, I often suggest they first try to resolve the problem and speak with their boss — who might be unaware of their displeasure — to see if the issue can be remedied. If it cannot be solved, you will remove any doubt.
There are other things to consider which can have a longer lasting effect. Has an employee who resigns but then changes their mind damaged their credibility and reputation within their employer? Additionally, what have you done to yourself in the eyes of the company that wants to hire you and you’ve already told them “yes”? Does this now mean you were never serious and whether or not you were sincere, perception is reality and this result is also not good for you?
It is not the best way to build your career and CV. Thoughtful deliberation will also give you the confidence you are making the right decision with less doubt. Going through these basic steps in the beginning will save you a lot of worry at the end of a process when you should be looking forward with confidence to your next career step and not doubting or second-guessing your choices.