The Cubicle Isn't Always Bigger on the Other Side
By: Heather Eager
Patience. It's a difficult trait to
possess when you're in the middle of a job
search. This is especially true when you're
miserable in your current job. You think
any job would be better than the one
you're in now. Caution: Tread carefully; you
don't want to make any decisions in haste and
out of desperation. That can lead to an even less
favorable job which will cause you to go through
the whole job search process again - much sooner than you would have liked.
Make sure it's a good fit for you
Have you ever read about an open position and got
so excited over it that you could actually
picture yourself in that job and moving up the
career ladder with a fantastic company? Potential
reality: You interview with the company and the
culture doesn't fit with your lifestyle, the
people are not friendly and overtime is expected.
Has that ever happened to you?
Save your judgment of the jobs you apply for
until after your interview. Yes, you need
enthusiasm but try not to get too invested in a
particular job before you know much about it.
It's easy to sound great on paper but it's
much more difficult to win you over in person. Be
very aware while you're there and pick up on
subtle clues as to the overall atmosphere. If it
feels tense as a visitor it can be 100 times worse as an employee.
It's All in Who You Know
It's a well-known fact that many jobs aren't
advertised online, in the newspaper or elsewhere.
How are jobs filled then? By networking. It's
all about keeping connected to people you know
well, and even those you don't know well.
An added benefit about networking is that you
know more about the company beforehand. For
example, Steve works at ABC Company. You tell him
in passing that you're looking for a job. He
happens to know of an opening in his company that
would be "perfect" for you. Steve takes your
resume and personally delivers it to the hiring manager.
However, before you even get that far, you need
to have a very open and honest conversation with
Steve. Ask him how the company operates and about
corporate politics. Find out about their views on
work-life balance. You can even inquire about
vacation and benefits before you interview to see
if it's what you need and expect. All of this
"inside" information is invaluable.
Job seeker remorse can be brutal if you jump into
a new job without knowing much about the company.
If you accept a job for the fact that it's a
small company and you've always wanted to work
for a small company, then you don't know what
kind of surprises you may encounter. Be sure that
you don't overlook a lot of negatives simply
for the fact that is has one huge positive.
Changing jobs can be a great experience and
change your life for the better. Just make sure
you know the facts before accepting the
job. Once you turn in your two-week notice at
your soon-to-be ex-employer, it's too late to turn back.
© 2007, Heather Eager. All Rights Reserved.
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