Improving Your Job Change Odds

Seems like if you have a job you should be happy with that fact alone right? But, if research bears out, if you’re not happy with the job you have, you’re in good company. A report released in January reveals that, despite high unemployment, job satisfaction is at a twenty year low. Whoa. That’s a lot of unhappy campers out there.

So, if you have a job but you’re wanting to change jobs, the Wall Street Journal has a few tips:

“Re-evaluate the situation. Think about why you’re dissatisfied at your current job. If you aren’t challenged enough, there might be a way to make a change without leaving.”

Maybe it’s not the job. Could be the antagonistic coworker who grates on your nerves. Or the boss who takes more breaks in an hour than you take all day. Working within your current situation may yield the better solution.

“Reach out. If the opportunities just aren’t there or you’re simply dissatisfied and aching to move, tap your personal and professional network for information on who is hiring.”

I think we’ve all been guilty of “cube” vision. We think in terms of our company. Our company’s industry. Our company’s sales outlook. But there’s a big world out there with diverse and growing industries and companies.

“Do your homework. When you land an interview, use the opportunity to learn about the company. You should get as much from them as they will try to get from you, says Sharon Armstrong, a human-resources consultant in Washington.”

Find out if the company is a good fit for your personality. Keep the salary in perspective. Salary is one barometer but not the only barometer. Unfortunately, salary is usually the single largest factor in a job search.

“Leap carefully. Whatever you do, don’t quit your job until you’re certain you’re hired, says Ms. Armstrong. “Even if a job offer seems imminent, there are a lot of things that can happen at the last minute.”

I work in the defense industry and have seen this happen more often than not. A job can depend on the company landing a large contract. A division is merging and looking to add staff. A whole myriad of external circumstances can affect whether or not you get the job. Make sure you have a signed contract and guaranteed start date before you quit. Then you can celebrate.

Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal.

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