When not to look for a new job

Friday, November 21st, 2008 - Uncategorized


There are times when, looking for a new job is not a wise idea or a good risk. Such times could include, for instance, a credit crunch – anyone seen one recently?

However, if you are feeling frustrated in your current job or with your existing employer, there is much you can do to freshen up your outlook and future job prospects when the outlook does look better, and improve existing skills or create new one’s which recruiters are looking for employers seek.

Firstly, let’s take attitude – is the existing job really that bad? Yes, you may have found that you are paid 10% less than a work colleague, or 20% less than a friend doing a lesser job at a rival firm: but are they really being paid that much more? If you think yes, then why not ask for an out of cycle review with your boss to asses performance. Even if the outcome is good, are you likely to get more money doing the same job? No, but if the review is good you should be offered more responsibility, and that should equal more pay – plus as a well assessed employee, you have just reduced your chances of redundancy in that employer by at least three fold

The other in-house problem may be work colleagues, or even the boss. If that is the problem, then chat to a trusted third party in a casual conversation, to see if they feel that the other person has a reason to have something against you, or whether its just them. If you find a reason, then change your self first and then change them. Talk the other person about how you feel, and what you are willing to do to solve the issue and what you would appreciate them doing. May be it is as simple as saying hello in the mornings, or occasionally making the coffee/tea – problems can be quite small but harmful. But honestly, no one wants to work in an unhappy atmosphere, and you will probably be amazed that they also don’t feel happy and would be happy to find a better way forward.

May be the problem is your home life. Have you in the past six months moved, changed partners, had a new addition to the family – pets can be as troublesome as babies – or is a family member going through some tough times, and it’s reflecting through you? Changing everything at the same time adds a lot of stress to anyone’s life, and much as though the job may be boring or not want you want right now, getting stability in your home life would improve your view of it. Plus it can be a sanctuary of normality and stability away from the stress of the home. When ever I see people in Ajiri not feeling happy, I always ask them to sit down and chat, and make a point of asking about how home life is. My rule is always: home first, work second – if your home life is stable, then your work life is a lot easier.

May be none of the above are the reason, and you are just bored and in need of a change. That can always happen, but always remember not all job changes work out – with some employers, as low as 20% will be there one year later. Plus if you are last in, and redundancies are required, you WILL be first out – under most law, you have few retention rights or redundancy package rights for at least the first 6monts, and possibly as long as a year – all career change is a risk.
OK, so you think you want a change. Firstly, before you look at any adverts or jobs boards, have a look around your work world. What is it that is so boring, under whelming, and not fulfilling in your current job? Is there anything you could add to it which would make it better, by doing something else – or even gaining promotion?

Secondly, before you start looking at job adverts, get a plan and a goal together – what you are looking for may well be right where you are, plus a little bit.

Thirdly, once you have the plan you can have a look at the jobs boards and adverts in local media. If your ideal next job exists, then you will see it advertised – no adverts for it, then it might not exist, or be in demand right now: this is a sign of increased unemployment risk. If you do see jobs like the one you want, are they asking for more qualifications than you have, or wider experience? Note these down, and place them in your plan.

Now go back to your boss, and chat about your job. Bring up that you want job enhancement and development, and suggest the areas you noted. Ask for the training you spotted in the adverts as a development exercise – you may not presently get sponsorship for training, but you may get released for college on agreed hours. All of these steps means that you increase your value to your existing employer, and your desirability to your future employer; both of which add up to a lower chance of a period of unemployment.

It is natural that people will from time to time get bored with their jobs, and look for change – most outside their existing employers. If they looked at the reasons why, made a plan and asked for a few inputs from the boss and changes from co-workers, life may well look a whole lot better where they are – and they would be in a far, far more secure position in these dangerous economic times.

Good Luck!

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