Changing jobs

If weighing the pros and cons of changing jobs has left you more determined to leave than ever, what should you do next? Below we’ll dive into steps to take to ensure you leave your role and company on a positive note while getting ready for a job change.


Managing Yourself: Five Ways to Bungle a Job Change

The average baby boomer will switch jobs 10 times, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The worker as free agent—a concept popularized in the 1990s—remains a reality regardless of economic conditions, making it incumbent on all of us to take greater control of our own careers. The corporate ladder is still being disassembled like a Jenga tower, and even the CEO position is no longer a terminus. As one independent financier we interviewed put it, “[T]here are no final destinations. [Your career] is a process of continuous development.”

But while job moves are just about inevitable, they are seldom easy and nearly always emotionally fraught—and too often they lead to a noticeable decline in performance, in both the short and the long term. For instance, in previous research we found that star equities analysts moving to new investment banks experienced drops in performance that lasted as long as five years. People who switch organizations—whether they’re wide receivers changing football teams or general managers going to new companies—all face similar problems. It’s not just about the learning curve. Moves of all kinds entail significant internal and external challenges and transaction costs: upheaval in your home and social life; potential relocation expenses; adjustments to new cultural and political norms; navigation of unclear expectations; and the need to learn a new canon, skill set, and jargon.

Debating the merits of a particular offer might seem like a luxury when jobs are scarce. And of course there are times when you have no choice but to accept a less-than-perfect fit for financial reasons. Even so, a job is never just a job. This is your career we’re talking about. The occasional misstep can be forgiven, but a careful and conscious assessment of the risks and realities will help you avoid making too many mistakes or ones that amount to a major setback.

The Most Common Missteps

To identify the most frequent job-hopping errors, we analyzed data from three research streams: a survey of executive search consultants, a survey of HR heads at multinational companies, and interviews with C-level executives around the world. (See “About Our Research.”)

About Our Research

For this article, we conducted a survey of 400 executive search consultants from more than 50 industries, interviews with more than 500 C-level executives in 40 countries, and a survey of HR heads at 15 multinational companies.

The search consultants had extensive experience placing the best and brightest: In our sample, 67% had 10-plus years of experience, and 70% recruited for stars at the senior-executive level or higher. We asked the consultants to name the most common mistakes people make when contemplating a job change and the reasons for those mistakes. We posed similar questions to the HR heads. The interviews with executives were conducted by students in Boris Groysberg’s 2008 class Managing Human Capital.

The consultants referred to a total of 738 mistakes. The top five kinds discussed in this article represent nearly two-thirds of them: We had 127 references to not doing enough research, 117 to leaving for money, 104 to going “from” rather than “to,” 76 to overestimating yourself, and 60 to thinking short term.

The smaller survey of HR heads matched the consultants’ feedback almost perfectly. Out of a total of 15 responses, not doing enough research was mentioned five times; leaving for money and going “from” rather than “to,” three times each; overestimating yourself, twice; and thinking short term, once.

The job-change mistakes we outline in this article are by far the ones most commonly cited by the search consultants; the themes are echoed in the HR heads’ survey comments and in the executives’ stories about their best and worst decisions. The mistakes are: not doing enough research, leaving for money, going “from” rather than “to,” overestimating yourself, and thinking short term. They follow predictable patterns and persist throughout the course of a career.

These mistakes are not independent of one another; they play out as a system of maladaptive behaviors, dissatisfaction, unrealistic hopes, ill-considered moves, and more dissatisfaction. Fixating on money, for instance, can obscure the need for research. Overestimating yourself can cause you to ignore a bad fit—a problem that research might have helped you anticipate. Some job seekers make all five mistakes at once: Because they overvalue themselves, they feel unjustly treated at year-end review time and leave for the first company that promises a signing bonus, without doing due diligence on the firm’s long-term prospects.

The executives we surveyed and spoke to were not young, untested managers. We zeroed in on seasoned individuals (mostly in the C-suite) with substantial experience making hiring decisions of their own at the very highest levels. But, as one search consultant reminded us, many successful people haven’t looked for a job for years—sometimes decades—and thus are surprisingly ignorant about job-market realities. In the words of another consultant, “They assume that companies will be as flexible about having them learn new areas of business as they were when they were young.” They have unrealistic expectations about how long it will take to find a job, and if they’re high up in the hierarchy, it may have been some time since they received truly honest feedback about their strengths and weaknesses. That’s one reason they stumble into such predictable traps. (The blame doesn’t fall solely on the recruits, though. Companies chase these stars, hoping to simply plug them into an existing org chart. Too often, they are minimally strategic in their selection and even less strategic in integrating their new hires.)

Mistake 1: Not doing enough research.

Second, they don’t pay enough attention to a potential employer’s financial stability and market position. Executives who would scrutinize the balance sheet of any firm they might acquire nevertheless assume that companies offering them a job must be on solid ground. Yet plenty of businesses will hire for senior jobs even when they know there’s trouble ahead, so it’s up to the applicant to assess how likely it is that the new job will still exist in six months.

Fourth, recruits assume that the official job title and description accurately reflect the role. But companies have been known to sweeten a title to attract top talent. Additionally, in a badly managed organization, people may find themselves in ill-defined jobs that have little relationship to their formal titles. One executive described his worst career move as leaving one company for a much smaller firm, where he was given the CFO title even though the bulk of his duties were really those of a COO. He found it hard to establish the credibility he needed to get the job done, given the misalignment of his tasks and title. Job candidates frequently fail to press potential employers for such specifics, including how their performance will be measured. Without that information, the success of any move depends on the luck of the draw.

When changing jobs/careers is a good option

  • You dread getting up in the morning. Does the thought of getting out of bed to go to work leave you feeling anxious, stressed, or with a case of "the Mondays"? It may be a good time to start to think if this is the right job or even career for you. As many who have or have had this feeling know, it doesn’t go away without making meaningful changes in your life.
  • You lack interest in the role. Perhaps it has become "old hat" for you and you could do this job with your eyes closed. You’re feeling bored and no longer motivated to do more than the basics of the job. You’re no longer passionate about it. It might be time to seek out a new opportunity — and new challenges — to get you out of your comfort zone.
  • There are no career advancement opportunities. Advancing in one’s career is often an important motivational factor. Perhaps you want to be a manager but there is no path to do so at your current company. Or you have plateaued in your role and there are no paths to increasing your impact within the organization. Whatever your career goals, if you cannot see a clear path to getting to your dream job, this may no longer be the right fit for you.
  • You’d like more compensation. Do some research here so you know what your peers in similar positions are making. Sites like Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter can help you identify what the average salary for any given job title might be. You may find that you are underpaid for the average or that you are at the top of the pay scale for your particular role. Either way, having this information will give you better insight into if more compensation is possible if you were to leave your current job.
  • You no longer align with the company’s values. Perhaps there has been a restructure or a change in leadership and you find that you are no longer aligned with the company’s mission, purpose, or vision. To increase your own clarity on this, a great place to start is by looking at what you value. Identify 15-20 values that you hold personally or professionally. Narrow those down to the 4-5 core values that overlap both aspects of your life. This can help you look for gaps between your company’s values and your own. This will also help clarify what types of companies you would like to work for in the future.
  • Your job is impacting you personally. Whether it is a lack of work-life balance, work stress coming home with you, or your relationships are affected, it may be time to consider a change. One way to notice if this is the case for you is to check in with your body. Are you not sleeping, having headaches, or gastrointestinal issues? All these can be signs that something is off and needs attention. A significant change in your work environment may be warranted.
  • You haven’t been in the role for long. There is no exact right amount of time to stay at a job. But if your resume shows a new job every few months or every year, companies may not see you as a competitive candidate. This is in part because they may want someone whom they can invest years and resources in. They might assume that if you have a pattern of job-hopping, you will not stay put at their company for long either. That might make them hesitant about investing in you as a new hire.
  • You’re feeling emotional. We all have bad days from time to time and may feel more emotional than normal about the job or a situation at work. But making a life-changing decision when you feel emotional may not be wise. A different part of our brain gets activated when we process emotions than when we are making logical decisions. If emotions are clouding your decision-making process, take a step away from the situation. This will give your brain a moment to calm down and think through what the right step is at this given time. It may be to change jobs, but it may not be. You will appreciate later giving yourself space to think through this decision.
  • You have no plan. Sometimes quitting your job without a plan or new position to go to can work out. But there’s some truth to the classic career advice, “It is easier to get a job when you have a job.” There is some truth to this. In part, this is due to companies seeing that another company has invested in you and in some ways is vouching for you. Potential employers may also want to know why you’re currently unemployed — which can require tact when answering. Sometimes, staying put until you have a job offer in hand can be the best career move.
  • You have no savings. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck and do not have savings for unexpected costs. If you plan to quit your job but have nothing lined up next, you may end up more stressed than you were in your role. Finding a new job can take time, so being mindful of what you can afford to do is an important factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. When looking at your finances, don’t forget to plan for healthcare coverage, too.

Communicating this with your employer

  • Do it in person. Different generations have different preferences for communication. A Slack message or email might be good for some situations. But when you are relaying sensitive information, as is the case with putting in your notice, a face-to-face meeting is better.
  • Decide on a timeline for your last day. While two weeks’ notice is the most common amount of time to transition out of a role, take into account any projects or deadlines that are coming up. You want to give as much time as possible for your employer to transition your role to someone else. Depending on your new job’s timing, you may be able to help a bit longer.
  • Help with the transition. There is a good chance that you had tasks you are responsible for when you gave your notice. If possible, continue to work on those projects and offer to help transition them to other team members. This can go a long way in fostering goodwill with those still at the company.
  • Offer constructive feedback. It is standard for companies to have an exit interview for those leaving the organization. Use this time to offer targeted, constructive feedback. They will often ask your reasons for leaving. Be honest but also tactful in your responses. You may help the next person in your role with your answers.
  • Offer thanks and gratitude. The time you have spent in this role has impacted your and your colleagues’ lives. Honoring the time spent together will help everyone cope with your upcoming exit. Additionally, keep in mind that you may want to keep in contact with your colleagues for networking purposes. Those relationships may help when you’re ready for the next opportunity in your career.
  • Celebrate! You successfully navigated leaving one job for another opportunity. Celebrate this win with friends and family. Soak it in and enjoy the weight that is lifted from your shoulders when that job offer is finally in hand. This feeling will not last forever so give yourself permission to lean into any feelings you may be having.
  • Build (or rebuild) healthy habits into your routine. This is a time to take advantage of looking at habits and re-investing in healthy lifestyle choices. It will mean different things for different people. By identifying what is important for your mental and physical well-being, you can plan ways to stay on target with them as you move forward. You essentially have an opportunity to reset your daily routines and focus on those that are important to you.
  • Set yourself up for success. As a new role can be anxiety-provoking, develop questions you can ask your colleagues about when you start. Try asking them about good places for lunch near the office, their experiences with managers, or even their insights about the company. Having questions ready to go in your mind can help avoid awkward moments in the office.
  • Dial in on your personal brand. This is a great time to think about what your personal brand is and what you want it to be. To do this, reflect on what your current personal brand is. Next, identify what your ideal brand is. What are the gaps between how you are currently seen and how you want to be viewed by others? Finally, focus on how to impact or change those aspects that do not reflect how you would like to be viewed moving forward. Keep in mind that it’s often the subtleties that matter. These include how we interact with others, our clothes, our online presence, or nonverbal communication.

The first few weeks

  • Pace yourself. Starting a new job can be overwhelming. While the desire to prove yourself in the new role can feel like pressure, remember that no one is expecting you to know everything right off the bat. You will inevitably make mistakes and have to master some new skills to do your job well, no matter how much you prepare for the role. Give yourself permission to learn and grow without the pressure to be perfect.
  • Lay a foundation. Gather information about the role, your colleagues, and the new company as a whole. The more of this information you take in now, the better position you will be to do your job effectively later. Schedule one-on-ones with your new colleagues to understand their roles in the organization. Go through old documents or information left by the previous person at your job or given to you by those on the team. Be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as possible.
  • Establish clear expectations with your manager. As you gather information, be sure to check in with your boss about their expectations. Are there items they want you up to speed on faster than other things? Are there timelines you need to be aware of?

Beware of cognitive bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to favor information that confirms what we already believe, like noticing and buying into stories that align with our current views. As Mark Mortensen points out, there are several types of confirmation biases, such as giving more credence to information that’s linked to a recent memory, so it’s important to identify and counter these biases before making life-altering decisions such as a career change.

One coaching client of mine who fell victim to confirmation bias was Yuri, who accepted an offer to join an HR benefits startup after being courted by its CEO. Yuri was asked to take over the finance function while the finance director was on leave. Yuri saw this as an opportunity to gain startup experience and make a big chunk of change to help pay off his law school debt. Six months later, disillusioned and disappointed, Yuri left the company. The problem was that he had convinced himself of the enormous financial potential of joining a startup, believing that the company would get acquired or go public to make his stock options worth multiples of their original value. Because he bought into what Mortensen calls “confirming evidence,” Yuri overlooked a clear warning sign: replacing someone who still worked at the company. Yuri also neglected to request details on defining his role and success criteria, and didn’t negotiate accelerated vesting of his stock options.

Seek an outside perspective

How can you understand an organization’s true commitment to employee development and determine whether it walks the walk, with a purpose bigger than its tagline? To learn whether a company’s values align with your own is difficult without first talking to people who already work there. Before accepting an offer, make it a priority to network with employees who work for the company you’re interested in joining, and get their view of what it’s really like on the inside.

Once you reach a tentative decision, discuss your decision-making criteria with people you know will challenge your assumptions, rather than relying on those who share your views. Look for individuals who have no vested interest in your ultimate choice, and tell them that they can help you most by being entirely honest.

With some thought and planful action, career regret doesn’t have to be a forgone conclusion. Lay out a roadmap for your decision making with clear criteria linked to your career goals, be aware of your assumptions and biases, and ask the right people the right questions before accepting a new position. Recognizing and discussing the realities of your role, responsibilities, and relationships up front can help you avoid a painful career misstep.

Changing jobs

This work-life balance isn’t just about the 9 to 5 grind; it’s also the amount of time you spend in bumper-to-bumper traffic jam commutes and even after-hours and holiday work. Again, it’s important to consider your personal priorities and commitments and think about how a new job could affect them.

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When To Change Jobs: Reasons, Considerations, and Steps

Developing your skills, taking on more responsibility, and setting new goals can all contribute to a positive work experience. If you feel like you might better challenge yourself or be happier in a new role or at a different company, it might be time to search for a new job. Knowing when to change jobs can help you identify if a new position can boost your motivation and support your career goals. In this article, we discuss when to change jobs, what to consider before a career change, and steps you can follow to change jobs.

A job change is when an individual decides they would prefer to work at another company, in another role, or in another career completely. There are several reasons people change jobs, like wanting a higher salary, looking for greater fulfilment, or seeking new challenges. A job change is an opportunity for people to learn new skills and explore different career opportunities.

You feel apathetic

Apathy is the feeling of losing or lacking interest in a particular subject. Your job should make you feel interested and motivated to reach your goals. Some indications that you may be feeling apathetic at your job include:

This can be especially obvious if your job is in a field you feel passionate about. If you had a great deal of enthusiasm working with others, completing tasks, and performing well, a prolonged sense of apathy can tell you it might be time to look for a new job.

You think you could contribute more

Your individual contributions often keep you motivated at work. If you believe you’ve mastered your tasks and you continue to perform them without added responsibility or recognition, you might want to contribute more to an organization. You may also feel this way if you’re only using a small subset of your skills instead of all the skills you’ve developed on the job. Talk to your manager to see if there are opportunities for you to contribute more, and if that’s not possible, consider a new job where you can develop your skills, learn new ones, and perform more challenging tasks.

You feel less happy going to work

Morning routines are essential to arriving to work on time and motivated to complete your daily tasks, and a good job should increase your motivation to wake up and start your day. If you go to work simply because of the need to make money rather than because you feel encouraged and happy, you may want to consider changing jobs. Seek a job that makes you want to get up and go to work in the morning.

You feel your job is affecting your personal life

Work stress is a completely normal experience. However, if you stress about projects, conversations, or upcoming deadlines constantly at home, consider a job change. Work stress at home can cause other conditions, like anxiety and depression, so it’s important to think about your mental health and work-life balance when deciding whether to stay in your job or find a new one.

You brainstorm new career options

Almost every employee thinks about their next steps or other jobs. However, if you’re constantly brainstorming what else you can do, consider changing positions. It’s good to have career goals, but if you think about new job possibilities more than you do your current job, it might be time to search for something different.

You feel less confident

It’s important to have managers who make you feel confident and appreciated for your work. If the feedback you receive is affecting your self-esteem, you can pursue positions with more supportive team members and supervisors. Experiencing doubt in your performance, especially in a role that you always excelled in, might show that it’s time to explore other options.

What to consider before a career change

Before deciding if a career change is the best option for you, carefully think about your background, education level, and skill set to ensure you’re making the right choice. Different factors to consider before pursuing a career change include:

Education level: If you’re interested in a position that requires advanced education, consider staying in your current role and attending courses until you earn the degree needed to work in your ideal career.

Financial stability: As you prepare for a new role, determine if you’re financially stable enough for a career change. Evaluate your finances carefully to ensure you’re not undergoing a significant pay decrease that could affect your finances.

Career tools and guidance: Use online career tools to locate jobs that better meet your needs and help you quickly find a new role. You can work with a recruiting company or career centre to help you prepare an impressive resume.

Why Do You Want to Change Jobs

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90% of people will change jobs simply because of the increase in salary – but the bigger salary isn’t the only thing you should be looking at. Benefits, such as annual leave, free parking, subsidised lunches, and PF contributions should all be considered too. These may not be included in your salary, but they offer obvious financial benefits.

Another popular reason for wanting to switch careers is unhappiness with their present career. This could be due to changes in your industry, incompatibility with your colleagues, a desire to have a job that matters, or simply a desire to try something new.

Whatever your reasons, you need to consider whether changing your job will help you achieve your long-term goals and how it will fit into your current priorities in life. Knowing what you want will help you to find a new job or career that is aligned with your desires.

For example, if you’re looking for more flexibility, getting a career in a skilled trade such as gas engineering could be a good fit, as you could opt to start your own business and choose the hours you work along with the types of jobs you will work on.

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Are you a people person – or do you prefer to work alone? Do you enjoy a varied and interesting workday that is split across multiple locations – or would you be happiest working from home? Do you hate the endless drama of office politics – or do you enjoy watching the Machiavellian intrigue behind the scenes?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but knowing what kind of working environment you want is important. After all, once you make the switch, this environment will be a major part of your daily life. More than just fitting into a new professional atmosphere, you need to know if this is the right environment for you to thrive in.

Many people in office jobs find themselves attracted towards jobs that offer a more varied working environment, such as plumbing or gas engineering. These skilled jobs offer a lot of variety in work environment through visiting different homes and workplaces, making every day different.

Easing the Transition

While switching careers might seem overwhelming, you owe it to yourself to do something that you enjoy. As you plan your change, consider ways that you can facilitate the process and acquire the skills necessary for the transition. A graduate degree is often a great way to further your skills and shift your career trajectory in a different direction.

Additionally, Northeastern offers programs designed specifically for career changers: Computer Science Align and Data Science Align. These programs are for students who have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field and are seeking to begin a career in the field.

Regardless of the career that you choose, pursuing a graduate degree is a great way to gain the skills, professional relationships, and hands-on experience necessary for a smooth transition and lasting success.

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About Shayna Joubert

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Changing jobs

“So a key element of Planday DNA is change. We are not unique in this respect. We as a company – and as individuals – do not stand still because the market we are operating in doesn’t: powering the global shift-based workforce is a big challenge, and one that will not be met standing still.

A workplace

7 Steps for How To Decide Whether To Change Jobs

Your job should offer a sense of contentment and the feeling that you’re on the right path. Whether someone likes their job or they’re feeling dissatisfied, moving on to something new might be beneficial. If you’re contemplating changing jobs, there are important things to think about. In this article, we give six signs that it might be time to change jobs, explain important things to consider first and describe seven steps for how to decide whether you should make a switch.

Your ideas and contributions aren’t being valued. If you are putting your best ideas and best effort into your work, you want to feel valued for it. If you are consistently lacking this feeling, you might need a change.

Friends and family regularly suggest that you should find a new job. Your friends and family likely know a lot about you. People who care about you regularly reach out when they think something isn’t quite right. If multiple people in your life are saying that they think you should find a new job, it might be a good idea.

Low wages are making it hard to support your cost of living. Cost of living represents how much money a person needs to pay for their basic needs. If your salary or wages do not cover your cost of living, you should look for something else.

8 things to consider before changing jobs

Personal career goals

Your personal career goals represent your aspirations at work—this could be what you want your daily routine to look like or your hopes for your career trajectory. To help reach your career goals, the work you’re doing should align with your desires. You might want to stay in your current job, if keeping it could lead to the next step in your desired career path.

Professional development opportunities at work

Companies often offer training sessions, courses, and webinars to help their employees grow their interpersonal and technical ability. They also typically conduct reviews and offer personalized feedback to further supplement that growth. Professional development and regular feedback reflect a company’s ability to support and invest in their employees. If you aren’t receiving helpful training or constructive feedback, it may take longer for you to reach your professional potential and you might feel under supported.

Upward mobility at work

Upward mobility at work refers to the ability for employees to rise from one position to another. Movements should be vertical, and provide more benefits—which can include an advanced job title, higher salary, greater insurance or retirement benefits, or a more flexible schedule. If there are multiple senior roles or leadership opportunities at your job, then the potential for upward mobility is high. If the position you hold isn’t giving you fulfillment, then working for a company with limited opportunities for leadership or advancement might not be the right fit for you.

Work-life balance

Work-life balance represents the amount of time and energy a person spends on work and work-related tasks compared to the time and energy they can spend in their personal life. 40 hours of work per week is typical of full-time jobs. If someone’s total commute is less than an hour per workday, then each week they have a little over 120 hours for rest, leisure and fulfilling personal obligations. If you are experiencing long hours or long commuting times, your work-life balance may suffer.

Recruiting offers

Professional recruiting is a big industry. You may find that people are contacting you with job offers in your field. Receiving recruiting offers can tempt you to leave your job, especially if the offer includes a new title or better compensation. Getting multiple offers from recruiters likely means that you possess desirable skills, qualities or credentials. If you like your place of employment, you might want to consider speaking with someone at work about how to move up in rank or how to earn higher pay.

Work environment

Ideally, your work environment should promote emotional well-being and professional growth. A positive workplace can encourage high work performance, friendly relationships and collaboration. The overall culture at work should be inclusive, supportive and team-oriented. When a work environment is less than ideal, it can leave people feeling left out or undervalued.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover is the rate at which people leave the company. It represents a loss of talent in a workplace, and it can result from resignations, layoffs, terminations or retirements. Turnover rates vary by industry and region, but there are averages. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2.2% of people quit their jobs per month, and 1.4% of people experience layoffs or terminations. A higher than average turnover rate can be an indicator of an unstable workplace.

Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction represents a person’s overall contentment and fulfillment at work. Personal satisfaction varies from person to person, but there are some universal ideals. Job satisfaction is divided into two parts, which are intrinsic satisfaction and extrinsic satisfaction. Intrinsic job satisfaction is a person’s fulfillment with the type of work they are doing. Extrinsic job satisfaction is reliant on work conditions, interpersonal relationships and compensation. A lack in one or both of these elements suggests a need for change.

How to Change Jobs

This article was co-authored by Adrian Klaphaak, CPCC. Adrian Klaphaak is a career coach and founder of A Path That Fits, a mindfulness-based boutique career and life coaching company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also is an accredited Co-Active Professional Coach (CPCC). Klaphaak has used his training with the Coaches Training Institute, Hakomi Somatic Psychology and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to help thousands of people build successful careers and live more purposeful lives.

How happy can you be if your job makes you miserable? Millions of people go to work every day dreading the next 8 hours. This doesn’t have to be you! Believe it or not, it’s possible to enjoy your job and to get paid for it.

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Try to stay at your current job while beginning the search for a new job. The search for a new job can take quite a while — by some measures, one month for each $10k in expected salary. If you’re looking for a well-paying job, that’s a lot of time to be out of work. If your job is truly horrendous and you can’t take it anymore, consider quitting. Otherwise, try to stick it out. Your wallet will thank you, as will your future employer: It’s easier to get a job if you already have a job, as you’re considered "employable."

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Adrian Klaphaak is a career coach and founder of A Path That Fits, a mindfulness-based boutique career and life coaching company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also is an accredited Co-Active Professional Coach (CPCC). Klaphaak has used his training with the Coaches Training Institute, Hakomi Somatic Psychology and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to help thousands of people build successful careers and live more purposeful lives.

Don’t worry if you can’t decide right away. Adrian Klaphaak, the founder of A Path That Fits, says: "Figuring out the right career path might not always happen in one moment, like an epiphany, as much as it might be a growing realization of what fits your personality and your strengths."

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Start keeping a career journal or diary. It may sound cheesy, but a journal is a pursuit that will force you to collect your thoughts and start to be honest about your feelings and aspirations (which is a tough thing to do). Use your journal to collect all your positive thoughts, insights, and leads that you gather over the course of your job search.

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Apply to different jobs online. Applying to different jobs online via jobs bulletins is impersonal and easy, which explains why so many people do it. It’s fine if you apply to jobs online, but you should probably couple your online search with more personal interactions to up your chances of success. The goal is to distinguish yourself from the herd, not blend in!


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