With a list of job opportunities at their fingertips, many people will change jobs or careers at some point in their professional life. Whether the change-of-heart is fueled by workplace dissatisfaction, the need for more income, or a better work-life balance, there are several reasons why someone would want to dust off their resume and look for a new job.
A recent global Gallup survey found 51% of employees said they are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings to find career growth opportunity. The study also noted that nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed believe they will likely find a job as good as their current one. For those who do change jobs, 90% move to a new company.
While there are valid reasons to make a move, it is best to take a proactive approach to career change which will result in more positive results than a reactive one. Take a look at where you see yourself in the future, and actively seek opportunities that could advance your vision and objectives, well before you leap into something new.
Here are three principles to follow whenever contemplating a career change:
Focus on the Company
This important advice was given by Lars Albright, co-founder and CEO of SessionM. He says job candidates should focus on the company, not the role. In his Fortune.com article Albright explains: “The specific position you are hired for is far less important than the company as a whole. The most important thing to do is find a business with growth potential and a great management team that has a history of promoting high performers. Your first title or position at a new business almost doesn’t matter. It’s much more important to work hard and prove yourself, so when the opportunity to be promoted arises, it’s well-deserved and in an area you truly enjoy.”
Do Your Research
Before he became Vice President of My Place Realty in Winnipeg, Tom Haughton was working and leading a company outside of the real estate industry. He describes the transition to a new career as a learning opportunity and says it’s crucial for job candidates to do their research.
“It helps to know the ins and outs of different industries. The pricing pressures in one industry are different from another, for example. And there are different sorts of pain points. But really, the underlying principles of leading and growing a business, and establishing a brand and living up to its representations are really the same.” He adds, “The industry is less important than knowing how to establish and maintain a good relationship with customers. And ensuring that those coming up behind you in the organization are equipped with the training and tools to do it right themselves.”.
If you are still in limbo with the decision to change careers, keep in mind that you should want to do it for the right reasons. Focus on the long term and don’t get caught up in the particulars of title and compensation of a new role. If a new role shows signs of growth, then pick the industry, company, and team that will offer the most opportunity for advancement.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” and this is especially true when it comes to switching careers. Sometimes, outside companies just sound better, but in reality, this may not be the case at all. Be sure to examine all avenues of the business and make sure to do your homework before making the decision to sign on the dotted line.