Now that economy has picked up, many people are considering making a job change. Before you take that leap its important to consider why you are leaving, what you are trying to accomplish, and ensuring that you've exhausted all avenues at your current place of employment.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for moving up and moving out. If job you have is not meeting your needs there is nothing wrong with searching for greener pastures. But looking for a new job is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time and energy. There is a lot of work involved with job search process. Unfortunately for many people look for a new job as a knee-jerk response to dissatisfaction at their current job. The good news is that a new job doesn't necessarily mean a new company. Let's examine several options you may want to consider before submitting that resignation letter.
1. Know why you are leaving. Is it money? Lack of growth potential? Personality conflicts with co-workers? Company policies? Invest time to understand why you want to leave your current employer and what you hope to find at your new employer. If these reasons are not clear to you, you may find yourself in exact same situation within months of starting at your new job.
2. Run TO something, not FROM something. If you have a dream job, and opportunity appears for you to get that job, then go for it! All of us should be so lucky to know exactly what we want to do and have a chance to do it. But if you're leaving because something at your current company is not right, your desire go somewhere, anywhere, may affect your ability objectively weigh a job offer.
3. Don't let money rule. You can always leave your current job, go somewhere else, and make more money. Its no secret that companies generally pay more to woo new comers. But think about other financial compensation you may have at your current company. Things like vesting in retirement plan, stock options, employer's 401K match, and better benefits. Dollar for dollar, these things be worth a lot more than a higher salary.
4. Look for other career opportunities within your current company. If you've built a decent reputation at your current company investigate other career opportunities there before looking elsewhere. Most companies have an internal job posting system that will allow you to apply for positions in other parts of company. Switching to another department within you current company gives much needed change that comes from starting a new job, but you won't lose any of benefits (vesting, vacation, etc.) that you've built up over time.
5. Look to change your current work situation. Maybe there are personality conflicts in your current team. Maybe you're working a great deal of overtime or have a ghastly long commute. Examine every facet of what you don't like about your current job and see if there is a solution that will change your situation for better. Can you arrange to work from home one day a week? Have you developed friendships with people in your department? Have you found a mentor who can help guide you through career decisions? All of these little changes can make a huge impact on how you feel about your job.