If you hate your job, now is a great time to move on
Four steps for finding a new job
With unemployment rates near historic lows and many employers actively looking to fill positions, it’s time to take stock in how you feel about your job.
As a career consultant who helps clients more effectively market themselves in the work world, it’s been years since I encouraged clients to look elsewhere if they were not satisfied with their job. During the Great Recession, the job market was very tricky and cruel.
If you were lucky enough to have a job, I told the client to stay put rather than quit in frustration and then potentially be out of a job for months.
Things are very different now. The job market is healthy and growing, and you should not stay in a difficult, stagnant job. As an employee, you now have choices.
Employers are hiring. Companies are growing. Start-ups are being created. This is the time to take stock of how you feel about your job. And if you’re not happy, DO something about it.
Ask yourself these questions: Do you look forward to work? Do you work well with your boss and feel there is opportunity for growth? Are you still learning in your job – or has it become rote?
If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions it’s time to look for a new job. There are plenty of them out there. You just need to know how to market yourself.
Here are some steps to take – but do this while you are employed. You will come from a position of strength when you apply for a job as an employed person. Don’t quit your job yet.
- Identify what companies interest you. Get a blank piece of paper and start jotting down your thoughts. If you’re a banker, do you want to stay in banking? If so, what other banks are out there. What is their culture? Study their websites? If you want to get out of banking, what skills do you have that are transferable to other fields? Banking involves customer service, working with numbers, spreadsheets, maybe you’ve managed people. Brainstorm what companies you want to work for. Look at their websites, view their openings, and think about your qualifications.
- Know how you provide value to an employer. You’ve got to be objective here. Look at yourself as your boss sees you. What skills do you have that make you valuable to your current employer? What are your other marketable qualities? Jot down this information. This is the stuff you will highlight in your resume and during your interview.
- Find a job description that interests you and rewrite your resume. Take a few evenings a week and start studying company websites that interest you. Particularly scan for job openings that interest you. Then tailor your resume to that job description. It’s much easier to write a resume if you’ve found a job you’re interested in.
- Look for a connection at that company. When you apply for a job, do whatever you can to find a connection at that company. You don’t have to be BFFs, but if you can mention someone’s name in your cover letter, the chances of getting your resume read and/or being interviewed are dramatically increased versus applying anonymously via their website. Ask your neighbors, brother-in-law, locker mates at your gym, etc. Someone has to know someone at the company you’re interested in. If you contact that person, more than likely she will be willing to help and may allow you to use her name in your cover letter. Try it.
The most important (and difficult) part of this whole process is to actually DO something. Think of the percentage of your life you spend at work. Don’t allow yourself to settle for a job you don’t love. You have choices now in this wide open job market.
And the payoff could be huge: a job that allows you to grow, to learn, and to feel personally satisfied. You’re in the driver’s seat.