When to Look For a New Gig

4/27/2011 12:46:53 PM
By PSN Staff

by Ted Leamy

Last we left it I asked you to try to rediscover what you are passionate about. What got you started in this industry and will keep you interested for years to come. And with an eye on a career path that leads you down the road to continued future satisfaction. Well that was easy huh? Ok, ok you are still probably working on this. That's ok. It ain't easy and requires a lot of thought and reflection.

I said we were gonna talk about when it is time to look for a new gig. This is probably a good time to talk about it since it has great importance to what the heck it is you wanna do in the first place. The greatest reason to seek a new position is because your old position no longer serves your long term goals. Read that last sentence again. It's important.

We all need a job to pay the mortgage, get groceries and all the rest of what it takes to care for yourself and your family. The challenge is not to just get a job.  Whatever position you apply for not only has to give you the means to pay for life's essentials, but if you want to be happy, it has to be part of what you want for your long term goals.  What we are talking about is job satisfaction.  A big part of job satisfaction is that you can see a way forward including a way forward in salary and compensation. Write down some concrete long term goals. Include what kind of position as well as the compensation - be realistic.   Don't be surprised or disappointed if your long term goals seem to change over time. It happens.

Speaking of compensation - there are several studies that have been done on compensation versus job satisfaction. The results are that job satisfaction plays a more important role than compensation to most people. Keep that in mind if you are a hiring manager reading this - it is imperative to show employees (all employees) a growth path forward if you expect them to be productive and loyal.

So what does this all mean? It means don't be swayed by the first guy that comes along and offers you a high salary. (I know how tempting that can be!) Be certain the potential new job is a close fit with what you want for your long term goals - even if the starting salary is lower than what you were hoping for.

Money is good. Happiness and career fulfillment is better. Getting both is the best - but it takes patience and planning. Whatever organization you happen to hire on with or internal promotion you accept, make sure it fits with what YOU are looking for. Make sure it fits what YOU are seeking for the longer term. No one is going to look out for you better than you.

And on a side note - if you want to leave your current job because your boss is a jerk, you have too much paperwork and you are not understood, think again before you quit. The world is filled with jerks, reams of paperwork and misunderstandings in every organization - don't think you are going to escape the boring particulars of work in the modern era! When it comes to career, never run from where you are - always run towards where you want to be.  

A quick recap: 1) rediscover your passion, 2) align your passion with some concrete long term goals, 3) realize that money cannot be the only motivation, 4) don't  kid yourself into thinking you will ever get out of dealing with jerky bosses, unnecessary paperwork and misunderstandings, 5) write down your concrete long term goals - including compensation.

Soooo... lets say you got through steps 1 through 5. What next? Go do it! Find that dream job. A good start is to let people know your aspirations and goals. How do you do that? Talk about it. To who? To everyone. Make your career goals known - to your friends, customers, your colleagues, your boss, your boss's boss and so on. Don't keep it a secret.

You don't have to be a bore about it, but talking about your goals not only lets others around you know more about you, but their feedback helps you think through your own objectives more clearly. Learn to listen as much as you talk - you will find most people genuinely interested and willing to help. It's called networking - and no I am not talking about Facebook! I am talking about networking with a real purpose - getting the career you deserve.

Next we are gonna discuss resumes. Everyone has to have one. It is a calling card when it comes to hiring managers and human resource people. I am going to tell you what I look for in a resume when I am hiring and what are the things that drive me crazy about most of the resumes I see these days.

Check back in a few days for that next bit of sage advice. I gotta go get back to work!

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