Is now the right time…?

“Jonathan is right now, with everything going on, the right time to move jobs?”

This is something I’ve heard on a more consistent basis since March 2020 when working with ‘passive’ candidates (non actively looking individuals).

It’s human nature isn’t it – we tend to focus on the perceived risk, which feels greater in troubled times, rather than what we could potentially gain by grabbing that career opportunity with both hands.

I often hear “what if it doesn’t work out?” or “will I be the first they let go of if they need to make redundancies or the company falls on tough times?”

Whilst I don’t believe there is one set correct answer, every situation is unique, I’ve suggested 5 simple things below that I believe we can all do to help navigate past this sticking point for many:

  1. What is it about your current role that makes you happy – is there more or less of this in the prospective opportunity?
  2. Can you speak independently to someone at the same level in the prospective employer to gain an unbias insight? Is the line manager happy for you to do this? If not, why not? Have they something to hide?
  3. Evaluate by comparison – what career-enhancing aspects does this prospective opportunity give you, or give you more of, that you don’t have currently? Often putting pen to paper and seeing it in black and white can be a powerful exercise and increase the clarity of thinking.
  4. Ask to spend more time with a prospective new line manager, perhaps over lunch or dinner. This is usually done once the formal interview process has concluded and is a great test – if they say no, this is a major red flag that they don’t recognise what a big and important decision this is for you and therefore do they have your best interests at heart?
  5. Ask yourself… are you coasting and wrapped up in a comfort zone? According to Avery Roth, a career change coach, the longer professionals coast, the more they have to lose. “Coasting keeps you playing small and avoiding the fulfilment of your potential,” Roth says “While that may not seem immediately threatening, there will come a time when comfort with your job turns into boredom.” Her advice is simple: Act now by changing careers to avoid pain later.

My final point or question for thought would be this…..

Ask yourself, what is the potential risk of not grabbing this opportunity? i.e. how long will you have to wait before you see another opportunity as suitable as this one that will enhance your career in the same way?

Whilst this is a slightly leading question, it does help put into context what we would be missing out on if we let our fear get in the way and the metaphorical ‘Ship’ does indeed sail away…

Change is difficult, but the benefits pay off in ways you might never imagine possible, both professionally and personally.

Please share your thoughts and I’d welcome any suggestions that have previously worked for you when weighing up that all-important job move and how you work through this scenario.

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