When is the best time to look for a new job?

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Guest post by David Gordon

I believe that the best time to sell something is when you don’t have to sell it. I also believe that the best time to buy something is when you don’t have to buy it.

Is there a relationship between this concept and finding a job?

In fact, yes. There are numerous traits in common with the above statement as it applies to career management or, finding that new job.

When we really need to sell something,  say a car for instance, because we can’t afford it anymore and the payments are stacking up, we’ve placed ourselves in a position of weakness and need. Weakness and need always compromises options and, almost always gets in the way of objectivity. It also undermines your control over timelines and actions.

Conversely; let’s say we’ve promised the family a vacation on a certain date. As the date approaches you realize that, as a result of procrastination, the date is two weeks away. Are your choices the same? Is your urgency of need the same; are you in control of the best options?

Managing your career is no different. If the best time to sell something is before you need to sell, then the best time to job hunt is before you become disillusioned with your current position or more seriously, believe that termination is imminent.

Job hunters are human beings and generally speaking, human beings share some certain traits.

1) We tend to procrastinate

2) We are change adverse

3) We can be lethargic about applying effort if the status quo is bearable.

Status quo, is that how you want to spend your career?

Managing your career starts with being pro-active, not re-active.

Re-active is “I hate my job and am miserable” or “I’m pretty sure I’m about to get laid off” and I need a new job, NOW!

You are now in a position of need. You loose objectivity because you can no longer remain emotionally detached and you have an urgent need with a short timeline. What happens, you settle for any job.

You no longer have the luxury of “shopping” and your decisions are clouded by stress, anxiety and urgency of need. You get a job, but is it the best job?

The best time to job hunt is when you like your job, when there is only a small puff of smoke with respect to job security versus a raging fire.

Finding the BEST job is different than finding any job.

To find the best job takes time. It takes objectivity and impartiality, almost indifference.

If you don’t really need something, you take your time; potential employers are trying to recruit you versus you trying to get them to hire you. In other words, you shop carefully.

Managing your career and next job is largely a practice of networking.

Real networking doesn’t mean attending industry functions or surfing Facebook. Real networking means identifying the industries, companies and decision makers within those companies whom you believe could enable the next logical career move on your behalf.

Conclusion: Take the time now. Identify who these companies/people are and make contact; turn that contact into a face to face meeting because that’s what works. Be  reasonable; ask for a ten minute sit down so you can learn more about their industry and their company’s aspirations and, let them know your intent isn’t “to get a job”.

Taking the time to invest in this strategy before you really need a new job takes the pressure off and allows total objectivity. Even more importantly, you won’t have that “odor” of really needing a new job and from that, you will be in a position of power.

Be process centric instead of results centric. The time to embark on this task is now, not at the moment of need.

David Gordon is an internationally recognized leader in The Pursuit of relationship Capital ® and through First Approach, has helped numerous corporations secure more and better new client relationships. Follow David @ www.firstapproach.biz  or twitter @salescallcoach.  

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