Job Hunting When You Have One


Looking for a job to replace the one you have now makes a lot of sense. When you’re looking at the postings out there, you aren’t as desperate as you might be were you not working at all. You can afford to be selective, choosing to put off applying to jobs that don’t fully interest you; jobs you might actually have applied to in your unemployed past.

This job you’re on the hunt for has to pay you more than what you’re making now, be more stimulating, more meaningful and more of a career than a job; any or all of these possibilities. It might have to be closer to home, closer to the cottage, perhaps nearer the person you’re dating, have benefits or growth opportunities etc. Your next job has to in your view, be better than the one you have now.

And there you have it, the reason for looking for some other job; you’re seeking something better than what you have at the present. Lest you think you’re the only one looking for work when you have a job, let me assure you there are a great number of people who job hunt while working.

If you’re out of work, or you’ve been out of work in the past, perhaps you can identify with the anxiety and desperation you’ve felt in past job interviews. The increased pressure to get a job and stop the financial bleeding of your resources. Maybe you remember telling people you’d do, “anything” too. Hopefully, now that you are actually working, you’ve dropped, “Anything” as a job you were willing and happy to do. When I hear people say that – and just yesterday I heard that from 3 people – it’s a sad message to hear. I’ve yet to find the person who will actually do anything by the way.

One problem of looking for a job when you have one is your level of motivation. Most employed people don’t work at getting a new job with the same vigor they’d apply if they were not working. So many skim a few job websites daily, maybe apply to the odd job every couple of weeks or more. You know, there are other things to do that seem like more of a priority. The out-of-work person is more focused, determined, desperate, hungry – take your pick of words.

The upside of looking for work is coming from a position of strength; as you’re already employed, an employer interested in your services has to present something better than what you have now if they truly want to pry you away. But don’t delude yourself into thinking that just by telling them your present circumstances they are going to open the vault and ask you to name your salary. That might be the case in movies or if you’re the potential CEO of a company, but for most of us, it’s just not the case. Still, there’s a reason applications often ask you to state your current employment status and present salary.

One thing you need to address is whether to tell your current employer you’re looking for another job or not. There are clear advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you might work for an employer that doesn’t want you using company time and resources to look for work, send emails, go to interviews etc. Then again, some employers encourage their workforce to grow as individuals whether that means advancing internally or sincerely wishing them the best as they move on.

At some point you’ll need to inform your employer. Maybe when it’s down to you and one other person for a job and the potential employer wants to speak with your references. That call to your current employer might not go as well as you’d like if it blindsides them completely. Then again, you might be imagining the scene when you just walk in and announce your impending departure.

I’ve found that people who are looking elsewhere for jobs – for the most part – mentally check out to some degree. As they look for a future with another firm, they stop investing themselves 100% in the job they have at present. If you listen to their words, watch them in team meetings or as they go about their day, they just perform differently. That may be only logical, but your present employer isn’t paying you less as you invest less in them, so you’ve got a responsibility to still deliver on your responsibilities.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to share your thoughts, you might even want to confide in a colleague at work; someone you can trust with your plan to leave. If I can give you one piece of advice on this, be respectful of that person. You might be putting them in some emotional conflict and divided loyalty. Is that fair?

Hopefully you work for the kind of boss who promotes personal development; who wants to see you move up and yes, sometimes move on. These Supervisors invest in the people they work with and share your enthusiasm for something new. They are the kind of people who appreciate a heads up that you’re looking, and give you the time to go to interviews etc. By setting the right climate where you can share without fear, they can better plan ahead for your possible departure.

Good fortune with your search. How’s it going?

 

Trapped In A Dead-End Job


Are you trapped in a job that’s draining your life away? Stuck in a job with no future, no chance for advancement or worse yet, not even some variety in the work you do?

To people on the outside it might seem a simple solution; find something else to do and quit. Ah, if only it were that easy! It’s not like you haven’t thought of this very solution yourself of course, because you have. The real sticking point in the plan is finding what that, ‘something else’ could be.

That’s the difficulty isn’t it? You put in a full day grinding it out, and by the time you check out at the end of your day, you’re beat. Your skills may be confined to doing a certain kind of work; a specific job. You haven’t got a clue how to go about finding something else you’d enjoy doing, you can’t quit outright and start looking because you need the income. You look ahead at the time between the present and the day you can retire, and see a lot of monotonous hours doing the same thing you’ve come to hate. You don’t even want to think about it because it’s so depressing.

Some hard choices are going to have to be made, and you’re the one who has to make them. Before doing anything rash, do two things; determine your financial health and your obligations. Knowing how much money you have saved in bank accounts and any investments is critical to knowing how long you can support yourself if you had no pay coming in. Knowing your mandatory obligations will tell you the length of time you’ll have before exhausting those funds. You should also look for areas you could conserve or cut back on expenses before you quit and when you find them, start now.

So let’s look at your choices. The first choice is both the easiest and at the same time the worst.; do nothing and keep dragging yourself in daily hating both the job and yourself for not doing something about it. Depending on the length of time we’re talking about, can you mentally and physically tough it out? Does the money you receive compensate you enough that you can keep going without breaking or just withering away on the job?

A second choice is to speak with someone in your organization and see if you can be laid off. This could not only answer your prayers but make them happier too. The company might appreciate your years of service but at this point rather have a younger, hungrier person on the job, and one that costs them less. So it could be a win-win, and you’d be able to apply for financial help while you job search; maybe the employer even has some severance package that would get you out quicker and in better financial shape.

You could just quit of course as option number 3. This is usually a move made by people who are desperate, or by those who haven’t thought things through very much. If you quit, you potentially lose all references you worked hard to earn, and you may not qualify for employment insurance because of how you left. Quitting also makes you ineligible for many re-training programs and severance packages. On the other hand, if you are seriously finding the job is killing you, quitting might be the option you choose if just to save yourself.

One of the best things you can take advantage of when you walk away – no matter how you choose to do it – is to get involved in  re-training programs or employment workshops. These help you deal with the stress of unemployment, help you answer those tough questions you’ll face from future employers regarding the circumstances around why you left your last job. You’ll also find help figuring out what potential jobs or careers you could turn to next.

Be advised though, things may have changed significantly since you last looked for work. How are your computer skills? Many jobs now require online applications, emailed resumes, some require you to complete long assessments. Look around for free computer classes either online or in your neighbourhood.

Saving your sanity and being a nicer person to be around for the family might mean a drastic alteration to what you do for a living and for whom you do it. Such changes sometimes require courage and a complete makeover. Are you willing to invest the time and put in the energy to change your life for the better? It’s going to be hard work make no mistake; but the potential benefits might save your life.

There may be another option which is to look at the organization you currently work in and look at advancement, transfers, job sharing or cross-training into another role and split your responsibilities between several jobs. This requires a discussion, succession planning on the part of your employer and some flexibility on your part. If you go this route, don’t just present your problem to the boss, present the benefits the company would realize and make it an attractive alternative.

Look for ways out of the trap you find yourself in, and get yourself prepared now for the big leap you may choose to make. Breaking free may just be the answer and lining up support systems the way to make it happen.