The post-COVID Great Resignation is moving forward in full swing, with a record 4.4 million people quitting their jobs in September, and an estimated 10.4 million jobs still unfilled.
Given this environment, it’s completely natural to ask yourself: should you look for a new job?
Of course, job hopping for its own sake is never a good idea. It’s important to make a move that furthers your professional growth and enables you to provide value to your employer.
So before you start actively searching, let’s dive into signs that you need a new job, and how to job hunt successfully.
5 Signs You Need a New Job
Before you jump into a job search, it’s important to make sure it’s the right option for your career growth. Switching jobs is an involved process, and sometimes a lateral move in your current company is a better option. However, if you’re seeing any of these five signs, then a new job is probably the best solution.
1. You’ve exhausted your internal growth opportunities.
You should never stay at a company where there’s no room to grow. So if you can’t negotiate for more responsibility, compensation, or even a potential move to another department, then it’s time to move on.
2. You’re already looking for a new job.
It’s normal to have a bad day at work. But if you’re spending all your time thinking about quitting or wondering about what another opportunity might be like, then it’s probably a sign of discontentment. You should consider looking elsewhere.
3. Your conversations are mostly work complaints.
If every dinner conversation starts and ends with negative comments about work, it’s likely that you need to move on. A job that zaps your energy and takes up an undue amount of your “off time” is probably not a great fit.
4. You’re dreaming of retirement, even while young.
You shouldn’t spend your entire professional life counting down to a date that’s decades away. If you’re just putting off your happiness and fulfillment to some arbitrary future date, there’s definitely a better option. Consider moving to another company or job that will actually fuel and motivate you.
5. Your health is suffering.
If you’re suffering from lack of sleep, stress-induced symptoms, or an undue physical strain, then you need to look for another opportunity. No job is worth sacrificing your health.
7 Tips When Looking for a New Job
Job hunting is tricky. Doing it while you’re working an existing job is even tricker. To avoid shooting yourself in the foot while you search, here are seven tips you should follow.
1. Start with current connections.
A good place to start are places where you already have connections:
- Previous companies where you left on good terms. You won’t need as much time for onboarding, are already familiar with the company’s technology and culture and can often contribute much more quickly.
- “Boomerang” with companies that didn’t hire you, whether you received an offer and turned it down or just interviewed with them.
- Seek referrals from employees within your top companies.
It’s important to balance networking with your current role. Early morning meet-ups, lunches, or even drinks after work can be great times to talk about potential opportunities.
2. Time your job search strategically.
If you’re trying to land a job while you’re still employed, you need to minimize the competition for available roles. That means being strategic about the timing of your search.
Late summer is a great time to launch your search, as the number of available roles stays pretty constant, but the number of active job seekers drops.
3. Keep it to yourself.
It’s never smart to lie to your boss, but it may be a necessary evil if you want to hold onto your current job. Some companies’ policy is to let go of people who are actively searching for a new job. So keep your job hunt on a need-to-know basis.
4. Don’t use company resources when searching.
Looking for a new job on your current company’s time (or dime) is never a good idea. During office hours, focus on your current job. Underperformance will tip off your boss and colleagues that something is going on (plus it’s just unethical).
5. Leverage social media to find a new job.
Social media, especially LinkedIn, is a powerful tool in your job search. It enables you to connect with employers and recruiters around the world, opening up your potential opportunities.
Pro tip: don’t just update your social media profiles when you’re looking for a job. That’s a dead giveaway to your boss!
6. Don’t bad-mouth your current employer.
No matter how bad your current situation is, bad-mouthing your current company isn’t going to help you. Instead, stay positive and focus on what you bring to the table. After all, if you’re willing to bad-mouth your current employer, what’s to stop you from bad-mouthing future employers?
7. Handle references with care.
You should always have three solid references from different employers. However, don’t put someone at your current company down unless you trust them not to spill the beans to your boss and others. Additionally, you should only give references when requested, and make it clear that your job search is confidential.
Final Thoughts: Find a Trusted Partner
The last piece of advice we’ll give is this: when you start looking for a new job, don’t go it alone. Doing so will only make the process take longer, and you may have trouble finding a great fit.
Partnering with a Brightwing recruiter can help you:
- Screen potential opportunities in advance, so you know you’re only talking to potential good fits
- Prep for the interview ahead of time so you maximize your chance of getting the job
- Set boundaries with potential employers so you can work around your current job schedule
To learn more about what it’s like to work with Brightwing, click here.
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