How to Change Your Job

- hints, tips advice and guidance on how to change your job or employer and to get the job you want.

In the course of your career it is likely that you will change your job and employer several times. The way in which this is done can have a major affect on your career, and knowing how to change your job, and employer is very important.

When many people change their job, they do not consider all aspects of the job change, and therefore they do not gain the most out of it. However others change their job with a set purpose in mind and they are able to advance their careers and gain more satisfaction from their job change.

A little knowledge of how to change your job can help advance your career and make each job change provide the maximum advantage. This is particularly important as bad decisions can set your career back.

Nevertheless there is also opportunity for many good job changes, and with a little preparation and research it is possible to maximise the changes of making a good job change.


Reasons for changing your job

There can be many reasons for wanting to change your job, and it is worth looking at them and actually understanding why you want to change your job. Some of the reasons may be:

  • Bored with existing job.
  • No prospects.
  • Have been typecast and little prospect of promotion.
  • Do not get on with immediate boss.
  • Looking for new and exciting challenge.
  • Want to broaden experience.
  • Different company would enable experience gained to be put to better use.
  • Can make a strategic change and gain promotion at the same time.


Pros and cons of changing your job

When looking at how to change your job, it is wise to consider the advantages and disadvantages of making a job change. By looking at both sides it is possible to make a more reasoned judgement about the proposed change of job.


Advantages Disadvantages
  • Can give an immediate pay increase.
  • Can revitalise your career.
  • Can give new opportunities.
  • May provide better promotion prospects in the long term
  • May enable you to relocate to an area you want.
  • You will be at an immediate disadvantage being a "new face."
  • At times of recession you risk being a victim under the "last in first out" scenario.
  • If you move too frequently it may raise questions with interviewers about your long term reliability.
  • It may take some while to build up benefits of longer holidays, pension rights, etc to the level of the old job.
  • Promotion is unlikely to occur for a while because you will be an unknown and you will need to prove yourself.
  • Salary may stay static for a while after you move.

It may seem from the table that there are more disadvantages with changing your job. This is not necessarily so. The advantages can outweigh the disadvantages, but it is necessary to consider both sides.


Changing your job

Having decided upon whether to change your job, the next decision is to decide upon what type of job to go for. This is not always an easy decision. There are two major decisions to make:

  • When to change your job:   Timing for a job change depends on many factors. It will include such items as:

    1. When you have completed all you can do in the current job

    2. When you cannot progress any further in your current job

    3. When feel it is time to move

    4. When other jobs may be available

    5. When you have gained sufficient experience to move on

  • What sort of job to choose:   This will depend upon many factors. It helps to have a career plan (see "How to Plan Your Career" under the Jobs section of this website). This will give ideas for the general type of job that may be beneficial. For example an electronics engineer may feel it is time to move from the design side onto the first rung of the management ladder.

Change your employer or not?

Often when changing a job, it is almost implied that you will change your employer. However this need not necessarily be the case. Within large companies it is often possible to move relatively freely. This can be an advantage of large employers as it enables to change between departments or even companies within the same group without forfeiting many of the long service privileges that may be gained.

Not all people like large companies, and when considering a job change it may be necessary to change employers. A change of company can also put a different perspective on employment as there are many differences between companies and a complete change can have some advantages.


Preparations

Before looking for the new job, if there is opportunity, it is best to prepare well for it. Make sure that you have all the training you need. Try to ensure you have the experience you need. These two elements may have to be planned well in advance, so it is always worth having an eye on the future and your goals.

The other requirement is to have a good CV. This is the key to applying for a new job, and it is worth spending time to make sure it is right. It may even be worth getting professional help. In that way you can make sure it is exactly right. (Also look at our CV preparation page).


Looking for your job

With all the preparations in place: knowing what job you want; having the relevant training and experience; and having a good CV, all is set to actually start looking for the job. There are several approaches that can be taken.

  • Apply through agencies - see advertisements on this website.
  • Look for jobs in publications from national newspapers to industry related publications
  • Look for openings within your current company.
  • Use your network of contacts
  • . . . . etc . . .

Summary

When looking at how to change you job and whether to or not, one of the key elements is to make sure that you are in control wherever possible. This may not be as true in the case of redundancy, but if you are able to decide the time it is possible to prepare and make the job change provide what you want. You can decide the time, and only move when you have the job change you want.

Even in the case of redundancy it may also be possible to remain in control to a large, although there will be some restrictions. Knowing how to change you job in these circumstances is not as easy, but if you have your preparations planned and have an inkling of the possibilities of redundancy, then you have a better chance.

By Ian Poole


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