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Job & Career Change Advice

Executive Ouplacement Services


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Thinking about changing jobs? There may be no better time than the present. According to a survey of 3,000 managers who changed jobs late last year, 92 percent attained equivalent or better salaries, benefits and titles.

John Challenger, whose Chicago-based outplacement firm conducted the research, recently told CNNMoney.com, "Job seekers are in the driver's seat. Low unemployment throughout last year forced companies to increase wages and offer new perks in order to attract and retain the most talented people."

If you're considering taking advantage of this "seller's market," I encourage you to review the five questions listed below.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Job Change:

  1. What do I really want in my new job?
    You may earn a higher salary, but what about the other aspects of the job? Will you be challenged, fulfilled, happy? Take a personal inventory of your wants and needs before you start sending out resumes. Assess your strengths, the assignments you enjoy most, the things that make you want to come to work every day.
  2. Can I make my current job my dream job?
    Now that you better understand your wants and needs, is there a way to change your current job to achieve them? Talk to your supervisor about your desires and aspirations. Sometimes it's the "little things" that can make a difference. If salary is the issue, express your concerns in a frank, non-threatening way.
  3. Am I working for the "right" company, but have the "wrong" job?
    Staying with the same employer has a number of advantages: you know the company, enjoy seniority, etc. Explore opportunities in other departments or divisions. Get involved in interdepartmental teams or task forces to establish contacts and widen your network. You may find your ideal job is just down the hall.
  4. Do I have a strategy for finding a new job?
    If you decide to look outside your company, it's important to do your homework, to learn what's happening in your industry. Target companies that are growing or need your expertise. Read the trade journals, not just the job ads.
  5. Are my skills up-to-date?
    If not, take a class or invest in training. Even if you don't move to a new job, you'll be more effective in the one you already have.