Moving jobs is a big decision. You’re leaving behind the comfort of a role you know, friends, a routine you’re familiar with and entering the unknown. How do you know if it’s the right time to move, or what type of role is right for you next?
Within recruitment, we work with people every day who have these questions. Sometimes people are just curious about the job market, others have itchy feet and many are keen to move quickly.
Whatever your situation it’s important to think first. Take a moment and really think why you’re moving and what you’d like to move towards. Otherwise, you might end up in the same situation all over again. Don’t know where to start? We recently surveyed a number of our own recruiters and asked them If they were to ask applicants anything when applying for a role what would those questions be? The results are the top 6 questions below.
Ask yourself these 6 questions when pondering your next move and you’ll enter your new role with better clarity and hopefully, happier.
What are your motivators & long-term goals?
This is one of the harder questions but if you want to find a job you love, you need to know what motivates you. If you work in sales that might be developing relationships or reaching a certain level of seniority (or commission structure.) If you work in technology, you might be motivated by working with new technologies or being part of projects that impact the world positively.
Likewise, with long-term goals. Ask yourself where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Would you like to have the responsibilities of your current manager? Do you see yourself in the same line of work, but in a more senior role? Would you like to manage a team and be in charge of budgets? Or, is your ideal scenario to reduce responsibility and reduce your working hours?
Whatever your motivators and goals are, write them down before hitting apply or calling a recruiter. This will make it easier for them, but also so much easier for you. (I promise all the other questions on this list get easier.)
What are your technical skills & years of experience?
Once you have that figured out the next question should be a little easier. Whatever your skillset is write it down, or even better – add it to your LinkedIn.
Think about hard and soft skills and where possible use examples. For example, if you think you’re a good team player – do you have any good anecdotes about a time you helped a team, which in turn lead to a profitable result?
You should also add up your years of experience and be able to chat easily about your areas of expertise, past roles and experiences within your chosen industry.
What’s your ideal location & salary preferences?
Knowing where you want to work and for how much money might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t think about it properly. Before looking for a new job ask yourself honestly about where you would like to work and what salary you’d happily accept.
Location preferences might seem basic but if you’ll only ever consider working in the city centre this will impact what roles you’re open to. Likewise, if you’re open to commuting or moving let the recruiter / potential employer know.
With regards salary, have a figure in mind and consider what benefits are important to you too. If you know what you want, you’re more likely to get it! Unsure what salary expectations to have in 2020? Our 2020 Salary Guide will be able to help.
What is your availability to work – visa, notice period and flexibility?
If you’re working at the moment have a look at your contract and confirm what your notice period is. Potential employers will ask you this.
Employers will also want to know what days you’re available to work and if you’re flexible with your working hours. For example, are you open to shift or contract work? Are you looking for a regular Monday – Friday role, or are you open to some weekend work? If you have drivers license this can be useful to note too.
If you’re living in a country that requires a certain visa check that you’re eligible to work in that country before applying too. If you do have the right requirements make this known. A recruiter or employer will likely ask your motivations for moving to a new country, so have a clear answer on this ready too.
Why do you want to leave your current role – If your current company offered you another 5k (or whatever relative figure) to stay, would you?
Counteroffers are increasingly popular, so this is a great question to ask yourself. By asking yourself if you’d happily stay put in a role if more money was offered, you’re forcing yourself to think about what it is you do or don’t like about the job.
If the answer is yes, it’s likely just a money issue. Whereas if it’s no, it will help you assess what it is that’s missing in the role and what you really want from your potential new job.
What is the ideal company you’d like to work for?
Saving the most fun question for last – if you could work anywhere, where would it be? Don’t be afraid to dream big.
If you’re a writer and dream of writing for Vogue let your recruiter know about these ambitions. If you’re a developer and would love to work for a growing start-up, again let them know. By being as clear as possible with your ambitions your more likely to find a job that’s really suited to you. By thinking about this question you’re also forcing yourself to hone in on what it is you want to do.
Overall when thinking about moving jobs the most important aspects can be broken down into the practical and the motivational. What motivates you to work and what are your skills? And where and for how much are you open to working for? Figure these two things out (along with a few other practicalities) and you should be able to find a role that will fulfil you.