If you are asking this question, it may already be time. It is important to trust your gut and listen to what you feel you need in your career and your life. Always ask yourself: Am I happy?
I recently had a conversation with a neighbor of mine who works for a large fortune 100 healthcare company and had asked my advice on this topic. Before considering a move, there are some things you can do at your current company to see if you can remain and grow. The first question I would ask is: Are you supported and do you like who you work for? Can you trust them, be open and honest? Can you have a conversation with them about what you’d like to see in your career? (Hopefully they are doing this with you but if not, you should.) Are there future opportunities at your company or departments you are interested in? Are there any projects or implementations you can be a part of? How can you be supported in continuing to grow while staying at your company? Sometimes there are blind spots, areas of improvement or new business ideas the company has been thinking about that can be explored and it just takes someone who asks and raises their hand to be a part of them. This can also be an opportunity to shine, get promoted and/or get a raise or extra bonus.
If you cannot explore the above or you already have and there are no opportunities that fit what you are looking for, then it may be time to start looking.
How do you get started? Updating your resume, your LinkedIn profile and reaching out to your network is the best way to get started. There are great resume writers and services online or you can get examples online and do it yourself. LinkedIn has become a prevalent tool in recruiting and looking for jobs. There is a feature on LinkedIn that allows you to select ‘open to work’ that is confidential but allows companies searching for talent to find you. Another great resource is mentors and recruiters to help with this process. Picking a good mentor you look up to and meeting with them regularly to help you through your transition is helpful. Reaching out to your network plus digging to see who they know to help you is a great way to get started.
You should also look at your career path. Where do you see yourself in 2-4 years? 5-7 years? 10 years? Are you on the path to hitting your career goals?
When I talk through someone’s background and resume, I think it is important to walk down ‘memory lane’ to reflect on where you have been, what you have done and your accomplishments. What job did you like best and why? Who was your favorite boss and team? Why did you leave each role and move onto another? Reflecting on where you have been will help you in steering where you should go next. Then asking yourself the question: What is my ideal role? Title(s)? What industry do you prefer or thrive in? What size company will fit the opportunities you are looking for? What are your salary goals and requirements? Location? Remote? (Covid has changed a lot in this regard, and I have worked with more companies giving this perk permanency). Then the final question is: After reflecting on these questions, what is the 3 most important things to you that would make your next role the perfect opportunity and make you happy?
Do not forget to include your personal life in making sure you are happy and getting the personal time you need. Are you getting what you need in balance? That may ebb and flow depending on where you are at in your career and the opportunity you are working on, but it is important for career and life fulfillment….and to be HAPPY!