Making a Change – Considerations

Michelle Straka,
(June 2001)

Deciding when it is time to make a career
change can be difficult. There are numerous reasons for wanting to find a new position.
Taking the time to investigate your options, to realistically assess your capabilities to
handle a career change and to determine your job search strategy will increase your
chances of making your desired change a reality. The important first step is to examine
why you want to make a change. Is it money, personal growth, a career change (i.e.
underwriting to claims), or family/personal issues? Being realistic will help to ensure
that the decision you are making is a good one. Make sure this is a change that you can
make. For example, do you have the skill set to take a position with increased
responsibility, the financial freedom to take a pay cut, if necessary, to be trained in a
new discipline or do you have the time that making a career change can take?

Once you have determined what change you want to make, determine if you want to stay with your
current employer. If your desired change can be made within your current employer company, it is time to start
communicating your goals with your supervisor.

Talk to those that manage you to make sure
they are aware of your employment goals and objectives. The marketplace is changing and it
is not enough to assume that your employer will control your career path. We are now in a
job market where the onus is on the employee to bring his or her employment goals to fruition.

Investigate what opportunities are
available in your department or company. If there are no new positions, is there is
different path where you can take your current position? Put a new twist on something old,
such as taking on new responsibilities or finding new and more cost-effective ways to complete tasks.
Find new ways to increase your productivity and set new goals for yourself on a weekly basis.

If you do not wish to stay employed with
your current company, or if you realize that your current employer cannot accommodate your
desired change, it is time to start considering the companies that you would like to
target. Remember that many industries are becoming increasingly tight-knit and if you do
not wish your employer to know that you are looking for work, speak only to people that you trust.

Your target employers will be determined by the change that you want to make. Through research,
you can determine which company is more likely to make your desired change a reality. For example, if you want
more time for family or personal issues, a company that has flex time or that regularly employs contract
staff is a good option.

Determine how you are going to target your
employers. Will you utilize recruiters? Will you post your resume on the Internet? Will
you forward your resume on your own? Whenever possible use your trusted contacts and
marketing networks to their fullest potential. Be honest in communicating to potential
employers your reason(s) for looking to insure the best possible fit.

You’re now ready to start your search so pick up the phone, click the
mouse and check the classifieds. Good luck!