Is now the right time to look for a new job?
The one question that always seems to be top of mind when considering a job change is, is now the right time? It’s easy to talk ourselves out of change. Change is scary and often takes more effort than staying in our current situation, even if less than ideal. We work to convince ourselves that it’s not “that bad”. Maybe I should give it more time or it will be better if I wait a bit. More often than not these thoughts are being driven by our discomfort, not the reality of the situation.
Now more than ever I am hearing that now is just not the right time to look for a job. The assumption is that there are not any jobs out there. That searching for a new job will somehow impact the stability of your current job. That being the last one in means you are destined to be the first one out should things happen. This mindset is damaging and holds us back from continuing to push for next, to go for what we really want and convinces us that we are wrong for wanting more. Yes, even now!
There aren’t any jobs out there
Let me be very clear, opportunity exists ALWAYS. It may not look exactly how you think it should and it may be harder to find BUT IT’S OUT THERE. Just because opportunity doesn’t fall in your lap doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and sometimes finding those opportunities is hard work. The more competitive the job market the more open minded and creative you should be in your job search. You just might end up somewhere you didn’t know you were always meant to be.
Creativity can take on many forms. It can mean getting creative with your search – considering options that offer remote employment opportunities or exploring industries you previously never considered. It requires being able to think about what value you bring in a different way. To identify and amplify the skills you already possess that will bring you success in future roles. Many skills are transferable between jobs and even industries. The ability to work well with people is a skill that will serve you in almost any field. Communication is another.
The challenge is being able to take an objective look at yourself and identify the things you do really well that make you marketable to a variety of companies and jobs. Often because we are used to thinking of our careers in a linear fashion it can be very difficult to see how we can use those same skills to pivot to something new.
I am worried about job stability
Job stability is important, no one wants to feel like they constantly have to prove themselves or that they are having to look over their shoulder constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is also the widespread belief that in hard times it is safer being a long-term employee instead of a new hire. While the idea of “last in, first out” can be a factor, in most instances it is not the only consideration. Finding and hiring new talent is an expense for companies, they have invested time and money to hire and train you as a new employee. You were hired because you possess a skillset they felt would be a valuable asset to the company and the team. The more experienced you are or the more specific your skillset the more value you provide. For example, if you are a senior level engineer with years of experience in a specialized field it will be harder to replace you then it would be for an entry level assistant.
The reality is stability is never guaranteed. Yes, some industries, companies or job functions are higher risk then others but continuing to hold yourself back because of the fear of the unknown does not translate into stability. Inaction is just that, it cannot create more stability but it can prevent you from finding something even better.
There is power in searching for a job before you need one yet many people will wait until something must change before they take action. Knowing that you don’t need a new job allows you to show up more confidently in your search, your interviews and your negotiations.
Build your network
What if despite all of the things I have said you still aren’t ready to make the leap? You have some insecurity with your job or you aren’t very happy there but you want to take a “wait and see” approach. If that is the case then I would implore you to start actively networking. Having a supportive diverse network will help your career grow in so many ways. Not only can your contacts help if you are actively searching for a job but they can proactively recommend you for opportunities you aren’t even looking for. A network gives you the additional stability we all want. It provides the foundation to start your job search and facilitates career growth.
Stop Selling Yourself Short
You are considering a job change for a reason. Something is telling you; you need to make a move. It’s called intuition. Either you have outgrown the role you are currently in or you suspect you are undervalued. Maybe you just aren’t as happy as you would like to be. Or you are worried that your current job might not be as stable as you need it to be. Listen to yourself, these things matter!!! If you think you should be considering new opportunities then you should.
Don’t wait to find yourself without a job because you were too afraid to move. Have faith in yourself and in your abilities. Those same talents that got you to where you are today will serve to get you to where you are going next if you let them. Opportunity exists, but you can’t find what you don’t look for.