Career

3 Strategies for Switching to a Better Job

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Jeff Cuellar

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It’s true that there’s no such thing as company loyalty (although recently discovered cave paintings suggest that people once worked for the same company for *gasp* their whole career!). But before you decide to bail out on your current employer, think about whether your situation is bad enough to leave. Can your job issues be fixed by communicating your concerns with your boss/co-workers?

If you have better luck trying to communicate with a certain local telecommunications provider than with your boss/co-workers, it’s time to defect. Here are three strategies to help with your job switch:

 

Search Only for Jobs You Want

Before you begin your job search, it’s important to update your resume and LinkedIn profile with your latest employment information. If you’re unsure of how to make your resume more competitive, this article can help. Once you’ve sharpened your resume, think about what you really want out of your next company and create a personal list that answers these core questions:

  • What size company do you want to work at?
  • What kind of company culture do you want to work in?
  • What kind of benefits do you want in a new company?
  • How does the new company handle growth and promotions?

Search for jobs that complement your skills, experience, and satisfy many of the factors on your personal list. If a job interests you, but you don’t know too much about the company, check out its website and network with the company’s current employees (LinkedIn is a good approach – if you don’t have an account or underutilise it, change that) to learn more.

And remember it’s better to apply for a handful of jobs that you’re enthusiastic about instead of diluting your search by blanketing your resume across 100 industry-related jobs. This may get you interviews, but you may end up with a job worse than the one you have.

 

 Don’t Relent in Your Search

 

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If you’re this dedicated to finding a better job, you’re definitely on the right track.

 

When searching for a new job, don’t expect to find a better workplace within a month. The reality is that it will probably take time for you to land something better. So set yourself up for success by establishing a dedicated schedule to perform your job searching activities. This means dedicating a fixed time every day outside of working hours (at least an hour every morning/night) to go through the following job hunting activities:

  • Searching for jobs via job boards/websites, classifieds, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Conducting research on desired companies to learn more about them.
  • Reviewing and revising your resume to match a job’s requirements.
  • Sending out resumes to jobs you’re enthusiastic about.
  • Responding to emails from prospective employers.

Setting a schedule means nothing if you can’t follow it. It’s understandable that you’re tired or sleepy when you’re not at work – but not sticking to a schedule reduces the chance that you’ll find a better job quickly. Once your job search becomes infrequent, it’s a given that you’ll be at your current company longer than you planned.

 

 Schedule Interviews Discreetly

 

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Brutus: “Don’t worry Caesar, you can trust me… I’m not the backstabbing type.”

 

Arranging interviews without alerting your boss or co-workers is the most dangerous part of your job search. Sure, you won’t get hanged if you get caught… but it probably won’t make the work environment any more cheerful. Depending on how much of a slave driver/micromanager your boss is, scheduling time for an interview might prove problematic. So here are a few tips on how to get around that obstacle:

  • If your job starts later in the morning (10 a.m.), schedule the interview for 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m.  Alternately, if your job ends early (5 p.m.), schedule the interview for 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
  • If your prospective employer’s office is nearby, you can schedule an interview during your lunch hour.
  • If you absolutely cannot leave early or come in late to work without facing your boss’ unholy wrath, simply use a personal day/leave or take a well-placed MC that happens to be on the date of your interview.

Any time you feel tempted to share the news of your job interviews with your co-workers – Don’t! Your work environment might have more snitches than the inmates at OZ. Also, don’t forget to cover your tracks by NEVER corresponding with prospective employers via your company phone or email (especially your email!). Never assume that your boss isn’t checking on you. Depending on your prospective employer, they may want a reference from your current employer, or even your boss’ contact information.

For the reference, if you absolutely trust someone within your company to be discreet about it, by all means get that reference. As for contacting your current boss, you’re well within your right to say to the prospective employer that you don’t wish for your boss to know about your job search, but that you’ll provide his/her contact info if you’re offered the position.

And on a last note, make sure you’re always acting professional at your workplace throughout your job search. This means “turning the other cheek” whenever you’ve been slighted by your boss/co-workers, and never speaking negatively about them during job interviews. It’s always good to leave on a high note without completely burning every bridge.

 

Image Credits:
zerokThe GuncleKatherineGrand

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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.