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What To Do Before Changing Jobs

What To Do Before Changing Jobs

While some people enjoy working in the same position with the same company for years, others contend that job change is needed after a few years. Ademola Alawiye writes on what to do before changing jobs.

While many middle-aged people are entrenched in secure jobs they have held for years, others seek to begin anew. Reasons vary, but they include lack of personal challenges in the current jobs and being offered new ones from other businesses.

As you move from one job to another, you must consider several things, especially in the Nigerian economy, such as maintaining professional work behaviour, being flexible in your adjustment and analysing your personal budget.

According to experts, in today’s world, individuals will change careers on average seven times more in their lifetime, compared to only a couple of decades ago – and this rate is rising. There is more choice available to people – especially for those with talent, drive and ambition.

To successfully negotiate a work change, you must be prepared, realistic and ready to explore unfamiliar worlds. Experts say the following must be done when one is seeking a new job.

Invest in yourself

According to experts, this is very important, especially in the Nigerian environment. They argue that if you don’t invest in yourself, you will have no value to employers of labour.

Human resource consultant, Mrs. Shoga Adeola, says, “You will need a significant amount of thought, consideration, time and investment in order to make the change smoothly and to make it the right career change. There are many key stages and turning points to consider; so, take the time to do it.”

Get clarity

Adeola says without clarity about what you want to do or how to get it, achieving any sense of fulfilment or being in control of your future will be very difficult. She says it is really important to work on getting clear about what your central goal is and how to achieve it.

Create an action plan

Experts say that simply knowing what you want will not ensure that you get it. According to them, you need to be clear about your plan of action and how to carry out what you have specifically designed for yourself.

Adeola says, “Get clear achievable steps in place. Outline it so that it is broken down into steps that you can work through towards that bigger goal. Reward yourself and be proud of yourself as you get through each stage of your plan.”

Focus your energy on the task

Making a change and finding the right role is not always an easy task. It can be tough, tiresome and long. You need to stay really focused and be efficient around where you put your energy and effort to get the outcome you want. Experts say that you should make sure that you are in control of the key elements in your world and are able to drive forward with the career and life of your choice. You will need perseverance and determination. Being smart about how you spend your time is also crucial.

Understanding your strengths

Get to know yourself better and identify what your key strengths are. The Chief Executive Officer, Jade Consultancy, Mrs. Jadesola Akinola, says that an individual should constantly ask himself some questions.

She says, “Some questions need to be asked and also answered. You should know what you are really good at. What do you enjoy that you are also good at? What skills have you learnt? What are you naturally inclined to do and be better at?

“Make sure that you get right to the core of it. The more you know yourself the more confident you will become and the better you will be at identifying the right role for you and projecting yourself in order to get it.”

Ignite that passion

Akinola explains that without passion for a role, it will be difficult to get it. She says, “Even if you do get it, you will find it difficult to maintain and grow within and beyond it. What you want here is the right role. This means something that you are truly passionate about. It may take a bit of experimenting to find what ‘floats your boat’, but it will be worth it when you have found it.”

Know your boundaries

Being clear about what works and what doesn’t work for you in order to be happy can be groundbreaking. It sounds simple but so many people do not actually take the time to work it out. Akinola, says, “In each different work situation, we may have different boundaries. By being clear about what they are and then communicating this clearly to others and staying true to what is important, will make a huge difference.”

Manage and improve relationships

This is important from all aspects. If you learn to manage your relationships effectively, you will be able to control the process and transition. You will be able to manage your exit smoothly from your current or old role. Understanding where your old boss is coming from and the impact you have on him or her, and how you interact can really influence how you leave a job.

How you get your next job and keep it may also rely heavily on your ability to manage relationships well.

Leverage your connections

Learn how to network and harness your connections effectively. This does not mean bombarding people you do not know with emails or adding everyone you can find to Linkedin. Neither is this picking up as many business cards you can at a networking event and calling that person part of your ‘network’.

According to experts, real networking is about getting to know people. You need to work on identifying and getting to know those who can help you along your way.

Rid yourself of blocks, fears and insecurities

All of us have them at one stage or another. Many of us keep them for years. However, do not let them stop you. It’s okay to be afraid but just do not let it take over and control what you do or do not do.

If something is blocking you from moving forward, take the time and action you need to confront it, deal with it and resolve it. This does not have to be done alone. Find support from those around you. Get support from a professional if it is a deep personal issue that is troubling you.

If you do not deal with it now, it will keep blocking you in different ways throughout your career and life. Once you have worked through the blocks, you will be so much more energised, comfortable, confident and free.

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