Have you ever thought, “Should I change jobs?”
It’s a subtle thought–the thought that where you are is not where you should be. It usually comes with a kind of casual self-examination, that eventually builds to panic. You begin to question everything about your career, your company, your decisions. It happens to people who loathe their jobs, and people who adore where they work: Should I change jobs?
Even if you are happy with your career and make a nice salary, that haunting question can still persist:
Should I change jobs?
Is there something better in store for me?
Is this the career I want right now?
It’s okay to be thinking this. And not only is it okay to be thinking this, it is beneficial to your career to be thinking this. Careers are not static. Careers are fluid, always changing. It’s hard to know when the next opportunity will arise, and what the future lies in store for you. One thing is for certain, if you want job security, you must always be in a perpetual job search. Because, here’s the thing, job security is no longer the responsibility of the employer as it is now the responsibility of the employee. It is a company’s responsibility is to make decisions based on the vitality of the entity itself. In this economy of disruption, a company’s survival is directly linked to its ability to change products, business models and, as a result, the talent it employs. If it fails, all the employees lose their jobs.
Where does that leave the employee?
As professionals, we are forced to consistently keep our skills set in line with what is in demand and seize all opportunities to make that happen regardless of how “comfortable” we feel at the moment.
Here are the top three reasons you should always be in a job search:
1. The odds are not in your favor. The job market is changing. Jobs that were in high demand ten years ago are totally different than the hot jobs now. It’s highly possible that your current industry will be disrupted or outsourced, and that you’ll be left high and dry, unprepared. The second issue that stacks the odds against you as an Executive. To conceptualize opportunity supply, look at the company org. chart. How many VP and C-level positions per company vs. middle-management. Welcome to the stage in your career that supply and demand is stacked against you.
2. Desperate job seekers make poor career decisions. If you wait until your position has been deemed redundant due to a merger, your company collapses or you “just can’t take it anymore,” you will find yourself looking for a job with a sense a panic. This panic can result in you impulsively taking a job where the company is as desperate as you or, at best, the role is a detriment to your career. In addition, this desperation can impact your ability to sell yourself. The amount of leverage you have with salary negation declines the more desperate you are for income.
3. You are more marketable while you are working. The stereotypes of the unemployed are real obstacles to contend with when interviewing for a job. If you end up suddenly unemployed, you could get in real “marketability” trouble. Many people assume that “the good ones are still working” or that if a company folded or was acquired a Headhunter would call the most reputable executive right away and place them within the industry. These stereotypes view the unemployed jobseeker as unskilled and untalented–not good enough for a headhunter to call, nor for their current company to keep. Obviously, this is not the case, but you will be an easier sell to a hiring manager if you are still employed.
You may have concerns about the future of your current company, want a better quality of life or just want an environment that fosters growth…but the real issue is getting the experience and the brand you need to keep yourself in demand. Do not make the mistake of waiting until you hate your job or the decision is made for you.
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