For those of you that have read my recent blogs (all two of them) you may see a recurring theme about finding a new role and making sure you take care of your needs in the process. Along that same theme let’s chat about how to end your relationship with your current employer in style (that’s a theme too, always a reference to style…usually about clothes, I have no idea how I manage to get that into every blog).
In any case it doesn’t matter if you love, hate or are indifferent toward your current employer. Sometimes it’s just time to take that next step in your career. But you don’t want to sabotage your current position or relationships in order to make that jump. Here are a few things you’ll want to be aware of as you embark on your job search.
Be Prepared to be Tired
Once you decide to find another job while continuing to work, get it into your mind that you are taking on a second job. It may not be a second full-time job, but it will definitely consume a good part of your off-time hours.
The job will not find itself nor will it just drop into your lap (as much as we might want it to). This means you will be spending a great deal of time after hours doing the following:
- Updating and polishing your resume and LinkedIn profile;
- Searching for jobs openings;
- Submitting job applications;
- Researching companies you would like to work for;
- Making new and meeting with existing contacts who might be able to help in your effort;
- Attending interviews (which will include phone, face-to-face and digital interviews);
Find a rhythm that works for you, remember to not give up too much sleep or you won’t be as polished as you’d like in interviews. Ask your personal network to ask you about your search and to give you strength on the days you’re just too tired to proceed…cuz you will want to give up more than once. Rely on your trusted advisors to encourage you. Seriously, you might need to call a couple of friends and literally ask them to check in on you and encourage you. You think I’m exaggerating? Read this blog again in three months and you’ll find yourself nodding your head, saying “yep”, glad I did that. I promise.
Keeping Up Appearances…and Building on Relationships
While you pursue your new passion you owe your current employer 100% of who you are as an employee. You don’t get to slack a bit because you know you’re coming to the end of your tenure for a couple of reasons. First, it’s just wrong. End of story. Second, this has been a second home to you, for good and for bad. This is your extended family. You have built relationships and connections here.
At this point someone, that isn’t me, might suggest that you need to do this because you may want future references. You need these connections to help you in your future. This is actually correct, but it isn’t what I lead with. Here is what I suggest you consider.
Your current job and your future job are not who you are. They are what you do. And I hope that you love it every day (ok, I hope you love most days, I’m not an idiot, nothing’s perfect). You should love what you do and be the best you can be (sort of plagiarized from a military slogan). I suggest you remain 100% focused because you will be remembered and you want to be well thought of. You want to leave knowing you made a difference from the day you started to the day you departed. I hope you’ve left an indelible mark at your current company, both in terms of work product and in terms of building relationships and connections that will last and sustain you as you move forward.
I just lost a colleague of mine from my last job at HireRight. I remember Ron as the finest gentleman and most charming man I ever met. A man who always showed a genuine interest in me and how I was doing, both inside and outside of the office. All of his conversations started and ended on a personal note. And by the way, he was really, really good at his job. He was the heart and soul of the original HireRight. We’re celebrating his life later this month, me and my HireRight colleagues…and you know what? I bet we all lead with a story about how he touched us personally before we delve into his sometimes hilarious work antics and stories of success. My friend Jamie said to me the other day about Ron “I bet he’s somewhere charming the wings off the angels”. I would love it if someone said something that kind about me some day.
If I could make one recommendation to you as you transition to your new role (and I don’t pontificate that I’m a guru at this stuff, I’m just, you know, seasoned…and have learned a few things worth noting) it’s this…find your Ron, the man or woman who knows how to build relationships, how to treat colleagues, how to think about others, how to lead by example…and BE that guy (girl, woman, professional). We all have our Ron. Be the Ron. (Ooh, that’s catchy).
Leave your current role behind with colleagues that are friends, that will remember you for not only what you did for the company, but for what you brought to them. And bring that same person to your next role. You will not ultimately be remembered for what you did, but for who you are.
Oh, crud, I tripped getting off my soapbox. I hate it when that happens.
All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
Just because you feel as if you are working two full-time jobs, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun and relax periodically. In fact, it’s important you do so.
Ensure you schedule regular time with your friends and family. Even if it’s just having the evening meal with them before you resume your “second job” can keep everyone in the house happier and on board with your job search. Personal relationship problems can impact your work and even discourage you from your job search.
Make sure you catch up on consistent periods of lost sleep. Not doing so affects your ability to do your job well and can put you in a bad mood and can lead to some really annoying mind lapses during interviews! Keeping sharp on your job and focused during your interviews is necessary to make sure you don’t short change your current or future employers during this process. And who knows, you might actually decide to stay where you are and you don’t want to damage that relationship.
Regardless of how you feel about your current position, you’ll want to leave it on good terms. You never know when you may have to ask them for assistance or work with them again in the future. More importantly, make the final impact that you leave a good one, for all the right reasons, the ones that matter…the relationships and connections. Ron taught me that without ever saying it directly to me in so many words. He lived it every day. Now it’s your turn.