No one will tap you on the shoulder and tell you that it’s time to update your resume. The choice is yours and, often, not so cut-and-dry.
Many people stay at jobs too long – leading to diminished performance, boredom and, particularly in the trades, less drive to learn new skills.
And, while we cannot say if you should be applying for new opportunities, there are a few signs that might indicate a change might be right for you.
How healthy is your current company?
It’s easy to get locked in on the day-to-day grind of your current project. And, as a project drags, or your responsibilities stagnate, looking for a new role might be appealing.
Before you get into the job market, though, have you adequately taken a longer term, higher-level view of your current employer? If you don’t know much about the job market or other companies looking for your skill-set, how can you know if you should start looking?
There are several ways to assess your current employer against others:
- Read online reviews on Glassdoor or similar sites
- Understand any market information available – a company’s financial details, analyst reports or recent press releases
- Examine competitors – look at companies you might consider working for in the future to understand their strengths relative to your current employer
Doing this research allows you to objectively find out the external view of your current employer relative to the companies who could try to lure you to jump.
If this research confirms your desire to look elsewhere, the data you gather will certainly impress any interviewer. When you share your observations with a hiring manager, they will know you’re a serious candidate that is objectively using facts to propel you forward.
What skills are you learning (or not learning)?
If switching jobs is in your thoughts, it is likely that you possess skills that are currently underutilized.
As you begin to look through job postings, make a list of those specific attributes. The search for a new job should begin with positions that emphasize those skills.
A hiring manager will be looking to understand if their position will hold your interest in the short and long term. If you have a clear list of skills you bring to the table that align to their open position, a hiring manager can quickly assess your potential fit – giving you a leg up in the initial phases of the hiring process.
Can you clearly imagine the new role you’d be looking for?
A candidate that has not given some thought to their ideal new role, signals to the hiring manager that they are (a) running from something or (b) are not completely in the job-hunting market. Whichever is true, either is an initial red flag that you can (and should) avoid.
Before you interview, be realistic about what your next opportunity may look like given the skills you bring to the table on day one.
Do not apply for every open position you see – make sure they fit your skills and vision.
Is everyone on-board?
Although applying for jobs and interviewing may be impersonal at the beginning, as you progress through the hiring process, factors like family and cultural fit will come into play.
If you are feeling the need to go after a new opportunity, get the important people in your life in your corner. This is particularly important if the new job might require a move, more travel, a shift change or another non-work-related interruption to your life.
Hiring manager want to know that candidates are serious enough to have had conversations with the people in their inner circles about a potential move. Proving that you’ve done so validates the interest you have in the opportunity you are applying for.
Not having those discussions will, ultimately, have the hiring manager feel like you’ve wasted time later in the interviewing process.
There are times when it is blatantly clear that you should be looking for a new position – an announced layoff, a temporary project coming to an end with no new one in sight or a poor performance review.
Most times, though, the decision to look for a new job comes down to you – to your gut feel, to the future you see for yourself and your perception of the progress you are making to personal goals.
And, while we cannot compel you to look for a new position, we can certainly help you prepare the time when you might.
Thinking about a career move? Contact Goliath today!