5 actions to take before looking for a new job

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Feb 01

Every job ends. It is just a question of when. So when you decide that your current job will end and it is time to start looking for a new job, you’ll want to do a few things before leaping into the job search.

Here are five actions to take before looking for a new job — from strategy to logistics.

1. Understand why you want to find a new job

Don’t throw this one away or roll your eyes. The answer to this drives a lot of your reasoning when you get to a job offer, answers to interview questions, and ensuring you’re looking for a job for all the right reasons.

There are a million reasons to look for a new job, so you’ll want to focus in on why you want a different job and what is preventing you from getting that in your current job.

Could be you want to expand your job skills. That’s good — which ones and why can’t you get that in your current place?

Or, for example, if the reason you’re looking for a new job is because you’re fed up with your manager, you should take a couple of days and figure out exactly what is the cause of being fed up. You can’t really go negative on your manager in an interview, so you need to think through what it is about the job that is causing you to change.

You’ll get asked in your screening or hiring manager interviews why you want to leave your job and why you want to join this new company. The answer to that comes from understanding why you want to find a new job.

2. What objectives do you have for your new job?

This is somewhat of a mirror image to the first point, but it’s different. Objectives for your new job need to be something that is pulling you toward a new job, not just pushing away the badness/staleness/boring/confrontational aspects of your current job.

What is bad or limiting becomes your decision to find a new job.

But what you want to accomplish in your new job becomes the motivation and discipline to find the right job for you now.

3. Capture your accomplishments

Moving to the more logistical, the most important characteristic hiring managers want to see is your ability to deliver on your goals. Managers are evaluated on their employee’s work, so getting people who can reach goals is critically important.

While in your current job, then, you need to gather up your accomplishments so you can get them on your resume. Numbers are important, both for scale and for results.

Where can you get your accomplishments? From the lowly status report, your self-reviews for performance, and from updates management provides about your work.

4. The standard stuff — update your resume, LinkedIn, and Social profiles

The resume is important to update when you start applying for jobs. LinkedIn, though, is important both as a place for recruiters to find you, but also as a place where recruiters who have received your resume to see if your information matches your resume. Consistency needs to happen here.

If you have social media profiles that you use for job purposes, make sure those get updated as well.

5. Ensure all of your personal stuff is off of corporate assets

Everything you have on your company’s files belong to the company. This is perhaps stating the obvious, but consider that having newsletters coming to your corporate account, your resume, or your accomplishments on company property means you could get walked out the door from a layoff and never have a chance to get all that personal stuff back to use in your job search.

This should be taken care of now, not when you are ready to start looking for a job.

Ready?

You know what you want to do now? Have all your stuff to get ready to apply for a job?

Good luck — and luck belongs to the good players.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.