Making a job change can be one of the most difficult decisions we have to make in our lives. It does not have to be as difficult as most people make it though. Much of the stress is due to a lack of preparation. What happens very often is the ball will start rolling very quickly once that first interview takes place. Individuals often start preparing once they anticipate an offer of employment and that is far too late in the process. At that point they feel overwhelmed. Here are 6 tips for making the change a smoother transition.
1.) Make sure you can set aside some time during the business day for phone calls. HR personnel and hiring managers are not always able to make evening calls. Return all calls, texts, and emails that are related to job search within 24 hours. Forward emails to your mobile device if possible. If you are unable to communicate for a few days make sure the parties that are helping you are aware of this. No response can make a bad first impression.
2.) Make sure you really want to leave your current employer. Hopefully, you have had more than one talk with your boss about your dissatisfaction and you are sure that no other opportunities exist internally that would meet your objective. When you give your notice, you want to feel comfortable that you have exhausted your options. If your boss comes back to you with a counter offer you will immediately know that it is only a short-term fix for their problem. You are leaving and that does create a problem. Accepting a counter offer rarely works in your favor in the long term and you tend to “burn a bridge” with the company making you the job offer if you accept one.
3.) Have a frank discussion with your spouse and family members. Make sure you have their support with your decision to make this change. The change itself can be stressful enough. If your spouse does not support you, this change will probably not take place. If your son or daughter is about to start their junior or senior year in high school this may not be a good time to move them across the U.S. If relocation is involved, make sure your spouse and family are behind the move. Often it can be difficult for them to leave friends and family behind. Even more so for a non-working spouse who may have a well-established network of friends and be very connected to family members. You have got a new job to keep you busy. They must establish a whole new network.
4.) If you plan to sell your house to accomplish this move, you have work to do. Get a “Market Analysis” done on your home by a professional realtor. You need to know how long it will take you to sell at your asking price. You may also have to support a temporary residence while you are selling your home. How long can you afford to do that? This is data you need to have in hand long before an offer comes forward.
Relocation packages vary from company to company. Prepare yourself for the lowest denominator which might be a flat sum of cash to move. Better packages include pack, ship, and move and maybe two weeks or so of temporary living coverage. The best packages will pick up realtor fees and closing costs and perhaps offer you 30 days of temporary living coverage. On occasion, mainly for senior level positions, a home purchase might be offered but this is not the norm.
5.) Be prepared to start a new job in two weeks from the time you accept an offer and give your notice, if there is no relocation involved. 3-4 weeks is common if a physical move is involved. Often you will find yourself in the new job and city well before your spouse and family. Make sure you have their support for that possibility.
6.) If relocation is involved, research the locations you are interested in. Go to city web sites.
Make sure the culture offers what you are looking for. Can you afford to live there? Do they have a state income tax? Is the school system the caliber that you are seeking for your children? What salary do you need to earn there to maintain your present lifestyle?