Carlos was in a tough spot, so he explained this no-win situation to his friend:
- Looking for a New Job While Employed:It’s hard to find the hours required to compile a resume, line up references, respond to job postings, research companies and prepare for an interview, in addition to all of your other non-work responsibilities. It is difficult to make phone calls and attend interviews during the day, while maintaining discretion and tact with your current employer.
- Looking for a Job While Unemployed:If you quit your job (or lose it) before starting your new job search, you can make “finding a new job” your full-time job. However, somehow prospective employers value you less because you are unemployed even though you have the same skills and experience you had when employed just a few weeks before! Meanwhile, you no longer have the income and possibly the benefits for the duration you’re unemployed.
The friend, having been out in the business world several years longer than Carlos, nodded in understanding. After assuring Carlos that this was a too common dilemma, he recommended the following steps to handle looking for a new job while employed in the most business-like and professional manner:
|1||Address Your Current Situation:: Before giving up on your present position, consider what changes would need to be made to entice you to stay. Then present these to your employer. Sometimes this is a matter of asking for a raise and/or promotion. Other times it may be an intra-company transfer. Basically, at this point you have nothing to lose; you’ve pretty much already decided to leave. You may be surprised at the positive response you receive. Of course, if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.|
|2||Prepare to Start Your New Job Search: This is the “aim” part of “ready-aim-fire.” First, begin assembling your resume and thinking about what kind of position and company would be the next best step in your career. At the same time, envision how you will continue at your present job without appearing to slack off as you step out for interviews and site visits with prospective employers. Your current employer will be a reference one day, so don’t burn your bridges. The ideal situation is to be up front with your employer (not all employers are ideal) that you need to explore other job options now that they have declined your pitch for a job modification, and you will need flex time around interviews.|
|3||Seek Professional Assistance: Carlos’ friend recommended that he reach out to Abel Personnel. The recruiters there will do the research and make the contacts you need while you are attending to work and life. Abel provides the flexibility to communicate with their team during or after working hours. They will save you time determining the particulars of the job that is open and how good the fit might be between you and the possible employer. You will still need to work around attending interviews, but those interviews are an important step in making the impressions that earn you the job. Besides accessing expert advice for your job hunt and available opportunities, there is never a charge to the applicant when a placement occurs.|
|4||Try to End Your Present Job Well: Once you have accepted a new position, try to offer a transition period that meets the needs of your soon-to-be ex-employer. This might keep you from starting full-time as quickly as you and your new employer prefer, but the new employer hopefully will respect you for wanting to do right by your past employer. Also, your ex-employer may want to seek to hire you back in a few years (the “boomerang effect”) or your former boss may turn up at a company that employs you both later in your career. Do not do anything to endanger your new job.|
This advice felt right to Carlos. He suddenly felt less stressed and recognized that the suggested handling of the present employer would be the way he would want his staff to be courteous to him. However, he proceeded in a different order:
- Initially, he sketched out what kind of position would be the next best step in his career.
- He then met with his supervisor to discuss how that next step could be created now at his present company.
- While he waited for his supervisor and upper management to respond, he proceeded to contact Abel Personnel so as to not lose any time if his current company could not respond favorably.
Carlos reported to his friend that he no longer dreaded going to work, having been open and honest with his boss about his discouragement. He also liked the feeling that he was being proactive in forwarding his career. And if the company did come through with an offer worth staying for, Carlos now had a trusted contact at Abel Personnel for the next time he was ready to make a move.