A Guide To Finding Greener Pastures
So, you’re thinking about changing jobs? The first one really wasn’t what you were looking for, you wanted something that’s a little bit more organized, a little more enjoyable, and now you have to find a company that works. Maybe you’ve had enough of the back-up plan your parents forced in and finally want to pursue your true passion. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re wanting to change jobs for the hell of it. We all know how encompassing our jobs are in our lives, and if it isn’t benefiting you mentally, it’s okay to want to move.
Whatever the reason is, there’s a proactive way of going about it, and then there’s the haphazard way. But before we get into the nitty gritty, congratulate yourself-you wanted a change and now you’re doing it. We here at Man of the Hour understand the difficulties in changing jobs, both in the deciding to leave and in the frustrating search for a replacement. But, you listened to your gut, followed your intuition and had the courage to actually make a move, and that deserves an applause. To help you make the right decision here’s a list of things to consider when searching for a job that’ll stick.
1. Make a pro/con list to make sure you actually want to leave your job.
Hey, we get it, we all get bored of our jobs sometimes and dream about leaving. The grass is greener syndrome affects everyone and incites major F.O.M.O by putting thoughts of hesitation and alternative life ideas into our heads. We all jealously watch our friends having fun in their buildings’ open bar and getting paid to go on monthly business trips. That’s totally normal, but does it mean that we should trade our job for one that looks a little more glamorous- maybe? Just because they’re living the life and everything looks perfect on Instagram, doesn't actually mean it’s perfect for you. Every job has its perks and its downsides, and you just have to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you. For an accurate representation of your current job, a pro/con list can be your best friend. Write everything out and see if one side outweighs the other and hopefully you’ll have your answer. Maybe you realized certain pro’s of your jobs that you hadn't previously. If mentally and financially it doesn’t make sense to make a change right now, you can always take a step back and reevaluate later on. Maybe the con’s far number the positives and the only way to happiness and validation is via a different job. If so, here it goes.
2.Make another list. But this time, make it about a dream job.
Let’s take that initial pro/con list and break it down. Why do you want to leave your old job and, most importantly, what do you want out of a new job? The answers for this should lay in the con side of our aforementioned list. But before we dive back into the negatives, let’s make another contrast list. This time, let’s list the qualities our ideal job would have. To stay proactive about our needs and satisfaction, our ideal job should have the qualities that our old job did not have. If you left one job because “low pay” and “long commute” were on the con list, “good pay” and “doable commute” should be on the ideal job list. Otherwise, you run the high risk of a re-lived unhappy work experience and the frustrating search for another job a few years later.
3. Find a job that checks off your needs, but one that is also attainable.
Unfortunately, It’s called an Ideal job for a reason. However close you are to attaining your dream job, setting realistic expectations is key. Applying for jobs within your experience level or just above will give you the best results. Sit down and think, is my ideal job attainable, or do I need other experiences under my belt to get there? You obviously won’t become CEO in a week, but that doesn’t mean you should have that position currently off your radar. However, if you have dreams of being a CEO, applying for positions that will one day and two jobs later get you on that name-plated desk is the wiser approach. One should always have a future goal in mind but understand that there is a necessary route needed to be taken to get there.
For many of us, however, applying for a different job is a little bit more complicated. If you’ve decided that your current field is no longer for you and that it’s time for a complete career change, have no fear. The important thing to remember is that any experience is good experience with the right phrasing. Finding and making the connection between your old field and your desired one in your cover letter will show them that even though you’re starting fresh, you’re the right person for the job. You might have to start at a lower rank, but you have a new dream in mind and are on the right track to satisfaction.
4. Be ready to explain why you and your experience are right for the job.
Good cover letter, Check. Full resume, Check. Great references, Check. Think you’re ready? Not yet. Preparing for your interview means memorizing the aforementioned credentials and being able to expound on them when asked. Being able to point out the relevance and importance of your past experience and the strengths you can offer the company will support your plea for the job. We all know too well the feeling of an empty brain during an interview, so maybe making a mental reference book of good answers to choose from under pressure would help make matters smoother. Or hey, practice with a friend in a mock interview style, you'll be surprised what you come up with that will be useful for you when it matters. Also, ensure you have researched the company fully - everything is google-able. This will allow you to essentially name drop the interviewer and impress them; they’ll know you just googled it but they’ll appreciate that.
Lastly, here are some extra tips on your route to professional happiness. A family member in a very high position at a corporate law firm once told me, “Spend equal amount of time sounding interesTED, as you do sounding interesTING.” Always leave your old job on a good note without speaking ill of any former employers. These days, everybody has a connection. And remember, any experience is good experience. Make well thought out decisions and all of your stars will align. You got this.