Choosing the Perfect Time to Make a Career Move

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Choosing the Perfect Time to Make a Career Move

Everybody gets to a point in their life where they have to make serious decisions regarding their career. A career move could simply mean moving to a different department within your current organisation, moving to a different organisation or the more complicated option of changing to a completely different industry. Any kind of career move can be stressful so adequate planning and preparation is required to ensure that the process runs as smooth as possible.

Tips for a successful career move:

  • Ask yourself why you want to make the move

The most common reason why people want to make a career change is the prospect of a higher salary. Understandably, as the cost of living continues to rise, more and more people are looking for opportunities to make more money to keep up with their lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with wanting a higher salary but if a salary increment is your only motivation for making a career move, you put yourself in a position where you could be moving to an environment that is not a cultural or moral fit for you. Job seekers tend to not research the culture of the organisation that they want to work for. Better work-life balance, seeking a new challenge, wanting to be valued, and change of location are also common reasons why people want to make a career move.                             

  • What is the ideal environment for you? How does your potential new environment fit into that ideal?

People often overlook the importance of moving to an organisation that is the right cultural fit. Being in an environment where you feel valued will motivate you to perform at your best. Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies. You can search for your potential employer and read what others have to say about that company. If there are any red flags, you may want to reconsider pursuing a position in that particular organisation.

  • Are you sure that you’re not just having a bad day or a bad week?

Workplace disagreements can make you want to leave your current workplace but it is important to avoid making an impulsive decision. Ask yourself if you would still want to leave if that specific incidence did not happen. Most companies have procedures in place to allow employees to voice their grievances, if that path does not resolve anything then you can look into making a change.

  • Make sure that your timing is right

Timing is crucial when you are thinking about making a career move. Only make the move once you have secured your next job, keep in mind that some employers still hold a negative view about career gaps. Avoid making a premature move that could have a negative financial impact on you or induce stress. Choose a time when you are not dealing with another life event, for example pregnancy, examinations or illness. The right timing will also help in avoiding having to take time off too soon after you start your new job. Your career should be your main focus at the time.

  • Up skill

You can never go wrong with learning a new skill. Technology now offers people a number of convenient ways to learn new skills and gain knowledge. Research the type of skills you will need in your new position. Look into online courses that will help you gain these skills, as well as affordable service providers in your area, especially if you are looking to move to a different industry.

  • Get Networking

Studies have revealed that networking is one of the best methods to gain access to employment opportunities. Connect with industry people by attending events that are industry related and update your social media pages such as linkedIn, it is a great way to stay up to date with industry news and build your network.

  • Leave in a positive light

The last thing you want to do is leave your current employers with a negative opinion of you. Serve your notice period with the same diligence you’ve shown throughout your time with the company. Another thing to note is that voluntarily leaving your current employer could compromise your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Research the terms and conditions of unemployment benefits such as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) so you can make an informed decision. 

Change can be terrifying but the rewards have often proven to be satisfying. Make sure that you have a clear vision of the direction that you want to take in your career, write a detailed list of all the tasks you need to do to achieve this goal, and put in the work to get there.

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