Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. Sage advice. Our decision making is easily skewed by everything that looks good in the moment – only to be regretted later once the emotional hunger pangs have died down. Career changes can be all too similar. Sometimes we can plan on when to make our move; more often it is situations outside our control that are the unexpected catalyst which force our hand. Your company may have a change in leadership or ownership that prompts a promotion or signals an exit. It could be the disappointing news of a RIF or layoff. The ‘why’ behind the change is less important than the ‘what’ – as in what you do next. However, what you do NOW can actually make the most difference in advancing your career instead of just changing jobs.
4 Things you can do right NOW
- Cultivate your Network – Working with a recruiter can give you insight and access to positions you might otherwise miss. Meet them now and make an impression so you are thought of when that dream job of yours pops up on their radar. Look for opportunities to meet and add value to other key people that are in positions of influence. Being intentional and specific will pay off huge dividends. These are the key relationships that can introduce (and sometimes even mentor you through) openings that will progress your career. ***Friendship 101: nurture these relationships when you don’t need their help.***
- Build your F.U. Account – Whether you think of it as a “For U” account or a “F@#$ U” account, the purpose is the same. Having easy access to a reserve of money that allows you to maintain your lifestyle for a few months will increase your options exponentially. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to “go grocery shopping hungry…”
- Get Clear on what You Want and What is Important to You – This is a challenging exercise for most of us. That said, it is far easier to do this work when things are going well than when they are not. Start with the times in your career when you were most happy and fulfilled and break down the components (what were the roles, the people, the leadership, and the companies involved?).
- Keep your Resume up to Date – LinkedIn is an easy way to curate your positions, experiences, and awards, which makes putting that resume together a much easier task when the time comes. Time kills deals, and you don’t want to have any unnecessary delays in being considered for an opening.
By acting on these 4 steps now, you will have the opportunity to pick the option to work where you are celebrated, not just tolerated. Not all recruiting or talent firms are created equal, so finding one that aligns with your values should be done before you need it.
Ready to start the conversation about advancing your career? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org