Spring is here and in addition to figuring out what to do with the year-end bonus that finally hit your account, you might be ready to make a job switch. Here are a few dos and don’ts to get you started on that process without jeopardizing your current role.
Do: Set up exploratory meetings with people in your network doing the things you think you might like to be doing.
Don’t: Set up these meetings during regular working hours if you can avoid it. Think about meeting for a drink after work, or maybe breakfast at 8am before most work days start. This way, you can avoid having to lie to your co-workers or you manager about where you are going.
Do: Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. If you have time to do it yourself, great. If not, consider hiring a professional writer who can refresh your material. Those tools are branding documents; they are important to help market you. This approach is an investment, but it will save you precious time and position you properly.
Don’t: Edit, review or otherwise work on your resume on your work computer where others can see. You don’t want to broadcast your interest in moving on just yet, but if you need to look at a document, keep it to your smart phone. Save your resume as a PDF — most iPhones or Droid phones contain PDF viewers that won’t ruin the format when you try to view something.
Do: Think about new roles internally in your company. Maybe you just need to find a different challenge in a different department, and there’s no need to look elsewhere.
Don’t: Let your work product quality slip while you start to look around. It’s still critical to give your best effort so that 1) you don’t raise suspicion and 2) you manage your risk. Be smart about your search strategy.
Word on the street is that the job market in the city is heating up or at least improving, with companies seeking new talent in divisions and groups that are growing. Put your best foot forward when trying to make a switch, and make sure you stay ahead of the job you have now.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.