With the turn of the year come the resolutions—the determination to lose weight, be more active, start a hobby or begin new relationships. One of the most common is to either pursue existing careers, or new ones. Every person's situation is obviously different and unique to them, but the following tips for moving employment should help anyone looking to take their professional life in a new direction. When it comes to switching jobs, following a few simple rules can make life a hundred times easier.
1. Identify What You Want
It may seem obvious, but sketching an outline of what it is that you're looking for is a great first step in changing employment. It is one of the key moments in turning a fantasy or day-dream into a reality, and one many people actually neglect. Example notions to consider are whether you will need more education to get into the career you desire, or if you will need to take a salary cut in order to get on the right ladder. Will your chosen career require you to relocate? Are you willing to move abroad to get what you want? Finding answers to these types of questions before you start searching will save having to change course later on.
2. Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letters
Is your CV up to snuff? One of the major mistakes people make is thinking that the same CV can be used for every job they apply to. Not so—a CV can be tailored just like any other part of your application, to draw attention to experience the employer will value. Another mistake is to ignore basic formatting rules when drawing it up. Making your CV clear and informative is better than having one 'stand out' through bizarre or strange font/layout choices. Try and keep in mind that the person reading your CV will have read a hundred or so before they get to yours! Keep cover letters concise, answering any questions a listing has asked for without being overly verbose.
3. Inform Your Current Employer
Depending on how important you are to your company (and what kind of relationship you enjoy with your employer) it can be good practice to inform them of your desire to move on. Not only does this prevent any ill feeling—which might affect your references—but also confirms your commitment to moving. That way you can get over the 'fear' of moving because you've grown comfortable in your current position. Please keep in mind that this instruction isn't for everyone, and simply giving your employer the agreed period of notice is enough.
4. Negotiating Salary
Talking about money is something a lot of people find to be uncomfortable. Many interviewers report that candidates didn't even ask what the salary was for the position! It can feel 'pushy' but the truth is it indicates a lack of confidence in your ability. You should be able to place a monetary value on what you offer to a business. Be straight with yourself and carefully work out what you bring to the table. Then ask for it. Most employers expect to negotiate, especially for manager-level positions.
5. Don't Neglect Your Personal Life
With all the work you've put in to changing careers, it is all too common to neglect branching out socially—especially if you've had to relocate. Employees who take up hobbies and make the effort to socialise settle much faster into their new careers than those who don't. The networking opportunity cannot be overstated either. It gives you a chance to bond with your colleagues and thus improve your prospects!
If you're still struggling, check out our career pages here for useful articles. Moving jobs is said to be one of the most stressful things you can do in life, but with the right preparation and mindset it can be a great deal less unsettling.