Finding a new job can be an intimidating process. Once you have your first job out of college, you may be tempted to stay there until you retire. However, you will be doing yourself a disservice. It is important to continue to look for growth in your potential as well as your salary and benefits. You can avoid serious career mistakes by recognizing when it is time to move on to a new job. You can look for promotions inside your current company or you can look outside of your company. You may be ready to take a job with less stress, or you may be looking for an opportunity to grow into management.
When Should You Look?
Unless conditions are absolutely unacceptable, you should stay at your first job for at least a year, two or three would even be better. Future employers worry about hiring someone who job hops too frequently. If you do choose to look earlier than a year, you need to be prepared to explain your reasons for looking. Of course if you are in a retail job, looking for a real job after college, this does not count. Another consideration is if you are moving because of a job offer for a spouse or partner. If you have a retirement program you may consider staying until you are fully vested in the program. You may want to ask for a raise before you look outside of your company for a new job. You should ask yourself these questions to make sure you are ready to move onto a new job. However, if you are not getting paid, you may need to start looking immediately.
Use Your Connections
When you begin looking for a new job do not be afraid to ask around. Many jobs are offered as a result of connections. Additionally, you may hear of additional jobs through contacts. One great place to visit is your alumni office. They often provide a list of jobs and contacts within various professions. It is also important to be willing to move to a new location to take a better job. If you are having a difficult time finding a new job, you do need to widen your job search.
You should also prepare yourself for the job hunt. In your career track, you should take advantage of any additional training that the company offers. If you know that you need to strengthen one or two areas of your education or training, take the classes you need at the local community college. You should also keep a list of successful projects that you have managed and worked on. It is important to list specific duties and results, so that you can prepare to write a new resume. A poor credit report may make it difficult to find a new job, you can still find a job with a poor credit history.
Update Your Resume
Once you start applying to new jobs, be sure to take time to freshen up your resume. This resume should focus on the things that you have accomplished. When you can list actual results, and specific duties. You should also take the time to write a great cover letter for each job. It is important to present your best self. Additionally considering posting your resume to online sites. If you have a portfolio you may want to create a website to showcase this as well.
Use Your Networks
With the expansion of Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites, it would be foolish not to utilize them in your hunt for a new job. If you are looking while still employed, you may need to be more discrete, but if you are unemployed posting the fact that you are hunting can help you find opportunities you may not otherwise. Remember to keep a professional image on these pages as well.
Consider Your Benefits and Salary
Once you have begun interviewing and receiving offers, it is important to consider the salary offers and benefits and weigh them against each other. The benefits at one job could increase the offer to be worth more than one with a higher salary. Another factor that you should consider is growth potential within the company. You may be willing to take a lower salary if you know the chance for promotions and growth is worth it. Another factor to consider is the security of the new position that you are taking.
Transition to Your New Job
Once you have found a new job, it is important to make your transition as smooth as possible. If you need to move for your new job, you should ask about relocation benefits. You should also take the time to transfer your accounts and set up utilities. You may also be looking for a new house. It helps to have someone in your new area explain the best schools and areas to live.