We all have bad days at work. On those bad days, we all wish we were, or could be, doing something else. How many of you sit at work sometimes daydreaming about working from home or starting your own business? How many of you wish you could put in your two weeks’ notice and walk out the door? If that sounds like you but you have no idea how to go about making that happen, then the following may just be the kick-start you need:
- DECIDE! If you really want to change your job or career, or any other area of your life, you must DECIDE to make the change. A simple desire or want to change isn’t going cut it. It’s not a strong enough motivator for change. As Tony Robbins states “You must get to the point where you are disturbed”. You must get to the point where the pain of staying stuck is greater than the fear of succeeding. When you get to the point of consistently feeling like you can’t get out of bed to get ready for work, or if you’re at work and all you can think about it walking out the door, getting in your car and never looking back…THAT is when you will find yourself taking the steps to make the change. I speak from experience…I’ve been there! I have made some drastic changes in my life quickly. When we feel comfortable in our situations we tend to stay there. We think “it’s not that bad’ or “it could be worse”, or “I’ll work on that tomorrow”; however, all we are doing is keeping ourselves stuck by giving into the fear of change. It’s not until the pain of being stuck in a life that we are unhappy in forces us to make the shift.
- If you have a contract with your employer, make sure you are fully aware of any clauses pertaining to your employment such as length of the contact/employment, acceptable reasons for voluntary termination of employment, non-compete agreements that may be built into or drafted as a separate agreement to the contract, any relocation expenses that were given to you at the time of hire, or any Per diems that may have been a perk as a sign on bonus or assistance with any moving expenses, as these may be required to be repaid to the company should you resign before the contract ends. [This was a lesson I and my ex-husband learned this the hard way, lucky for him, he had a sleuth paralegal for a wife that was able to craft a great letter to Corporate and got us out of it]. Know exactly what is, and is not, in your employment contract. If you do have a contract or non-compete agreement, I would suggest contacting a lawyer and have them review exactly what can and cannot be enforced in those documents. Oftentimes, they are just a tool to dissuade an employee from leaving and taking customers/clients with them without any legal basis. Do your research, it could possibly save you thousands of dollars.
- When it comes to putting in your notice, be mindful and considerate. No matter how good or bad your relationship is with the boss, management, the HR department, or your colleagues, always leave on a positive note, and remember, your unhappiness in the job is not their problem. They all still have a job to do whether you are happy or not. Even though you may not be happy in that position or may even have been mistreated in your place of employment, you need to take the professional high-road and give as much notice as possible. Maybe you are the only person within 1000 miles that knows how to do your job. Keep in mind that finding your replacement may be an arduous task. It is much better to err on the side of maintaining the respect of your co-workers and HR department/management, ensuring that you retain quality contacts who can vouch for your work ethic and thus would be much more likely to give you a stellar recommendation.
- Get your act together. Meaning, begin to clear out your personal belongings ensuring that; 1. you don’t leave anything of monetary or sentimental value behind, 2. that you begin to feel and believe that you WILL succeed in the field of your desire, 3. that you are telling your subconscious mind that you’re ready to move on. When your subconscious mind begins to believe that what you desire is either coming or already here, what you desire will start to appear as long as you’re putting in the effort and work to obtain that desire.
- ALWAYS Submit a formal resignation letter. When the time is right and you’re ready to quit, make sure you submit a formal letter of resignation and KEEP A COPY OF THE LETTER! Some companies require that you submit a formal letter of resignation. If, however, your company does not, it is still considered “good form” or etiquette to submit a formal notice of your intention to quit. It’s always better to leave on good terms rather than burning a bridge that you may need to cross again later in your career.
- Always prepare for an exit interview. Many companies require an exit interview as well as a formal letter of recommendation. This helps the company evaluate their employment tactics as well as overall employee job satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that you unleash what you dislike about working for the company, but it does mean that you are given a professional platform in which to communicate to the HR department or management of areas that they may want to consider. Exit interviews assist the company in ways to improve employee morale, employee productivity, decrease the frequency of employees calling in sick, and reduce employee turn-overs. This is also the perfect time to gain feedback on your job performance from the employer’s perspective, thereby giving you invaluable information that you can take with you to the next position to aid in improving your own work ethic and performance thus leading to your future success.
- Create or update your LinkedIn Profile, clean up your social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…etc. Ask your connections on LinkedIn to endorse you for the skills you have listed. If you don’t have any listed, then by all means…add them. As soon as you are hired for a new position, make sure to add/update that information on all of your social media profiles. Create a Facebook business page. Market yourself with as much professional content as possible. Invite your friends and family to like and share the content on your page and add new connections. By doing this, you can gain invaluable connections and contacts with others who may be able to assist you in your search for a new job or career change.Seeking a new job or a totally new career can be scary, daunting, and overwhelming at times. It can also be fun, creative, adventurous and limitless if you play your cards right. If you tackle it as a challenge rather than something you must do it won’t be so arduous. There are many ways to make job hunting or changing careers fun and exciting:
• Recruit friends and family. Challenge them to be creative in helping you with your job search or career change. People love to feel like they are an asset to their friends and family and most genuinely want to help you succeed. People love to feel valued, needed, and appreciated. If one of them happens to be the reason you find your next career, let them know. Allow them the pleasure of feeling like they helped you become happier and more fulfilled. Don’t deny them that gift of helping you.
- Push your limits. All of us have skills far beyond what we perceive that we possess. Search for jobs that you normally would not pursue. Just because you may feel you are not qualified for those jobs, doesn’t mean that you’re not. Again, we all have hidden talents that may benefit a potential employer that we aren’t aware of. After all, the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t get a call for an interview. You’re no worse off than you were before you applied, but you could gain if you go for it. You might be surprised to find out that most employers when posting jobs online, will embellish the job making it sound much more difficult or posting past skills, experience or education than the job requires. The reason…it scares off most job seekers and they have fewer resumes to read through, so go for it.The sad truth is that many job seekers are more than qualified for most jobs, but because of the online job description requirements, they pass on applying for fear that they are inadequate, when in fact, they may be perfect for the position. This is a detriment to the employer because 9 times out of 10, they limit themselves to getting applicants who may be a perfect fit for the position. So, challenge yourself to apply for positions that you may not feel qualified for, but may in fact be the perfect candidate for the position.When you feel discouraged and feel as if you’re not making any progress, remember the saying, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up”. When you are searching for that new job or career change, get your mind “dressed” every day. Wake up and put on a positive mindset. Our thoughts dictate which direction our emotions are going to take at any given moment. If you show up at your current job with a negative mindset, it will be affect how your entire day will go. It will also determine the success of your job search.
Happy career hunting!
The Resume Studio