Articles > Determining the right time to change jobs and doing it - by Scott Brown
In the old days, people stayed with a company for anywhere from 25 to 50 years and then retired with a nice little nest egg and a small pension. In todayís ever-changing and dynamic job market, people are seen changing jobs at the drop of a hat. I assume the volatile nature of the job market today has forced us to continuously look for and change jobs whenever we find something that pays a little more or offers what we believe to be a little security.
Should you consider jumping ship?
There are many factors that affect a decision to change jobs. Some of them are: lack of security, not getting along with coworkers, low salaries, no chance for advancement, company doing poorly, layoffs expected or abysmal benefits. Do you fall into one of the categories? Do you have another valid reason for wanting to change jobs?
If so, it may be time to consider looking for a new job. Twenty years ago, if you changed jobs more than every five years, you were considered untrustworthy and you would find it difficult to get hired. Today, it is not unusual to change jobs after a year or two. So, if you have been at your current position for a minimum of 12 months, preferably at least 24 months then changing jobs should not impact your reputation or the look of your resume. It could look bad if there's a pattern of staying at jobs for only a year or two, but if it happens occasionally in your work history, it's ok.
What are the factors to weigh?
If you decide that you fall into one of the categories above that indicates you are ready to leave your job, there are several factors you should consider. First, how is the job market? Has anyone close to you recently changed jobs or is everyone battening down the hatches and doing everything possible to keep their job? If the job market is tight you may want to consider waiting to jump ship.
Another factor to consider is whether you are ready to start looking for a job. Is your resume in tip top shape? Do you have references lined up that will help you get a job? Are you financially able to be out of work or at least without a paycheck for a few weeks?
As you can see, there are a multitude of factors to consider when considering a job change. My goal in pointing out that leaving one job to search for and start another is that it can be an overwhelming task. Once you decide that there is absolutely no way you are going to stay with your current job, then you need to start making a plan and methodically implementing it until you have your new job.
Make a plan and implement it
First off, check your status at your current job. Do you have any time off? Do you think your supervisors might let you go any time soon? How has your work performance been lately? In essence, you need to tighten up your act at your current job so that you do not lose it while looking for a new job.
Next, check your resume and references to make sure they are up to date and will help you get a new job. Your resume is the key to getting in the door and getting an interview. For some sample resumes and information on how to get your resume rewritten professionally, visit this web address:
Then, get your resume out to all prospective employers including recruiters and placement agencies. Also, post your resume on all job sites. If you can not dedicate yourself 100% to finding that new job you may as well not even try. The PutMyResumeOnline service will do a lot of this work for you. When you sign up and enter your resume on their site, they will post it for you on over 90 job boards including Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder, etc. Your resume will be seen by up to 1.5 million recruiters and employers daily. To find out more, visit this web address:
Finally, secure interviews and knock the socks off your interviewers. Prepare carefully for each interview so that the prospective employers will want to invite you back for additional interviews and ultimately offer you a job. To help you prepare for interviewing, there is a list of frequently asked interview questions and some model answers at this web site:
Jumping ship and looking for a new job can seem like an insurmountable task at times but if you plan accordingly and donít get discouraged, it can be very rewarding: monetarily and also for the sake of your sanity. So, review your current situation and decide if it is time to leave. If it is, plan how you are going to get a new job and implement your plan. Finally, remain professional, donít burn any bridges and go out there and get that new job.
Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.
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