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All too often people come to us desperate to get out of their current job because they are unhappy. These reasons vary; narcissistic managers, sexual harassment, undervalued, over worked, underpaid, no progression, the list goes on. The problem with leaving your career search until you are miserable is often why candidates end up desperate and take the first opportunity they get offered.

Why is this an issue you ask?

When you jump at the first thing that comes along and you are doing it because you’re desperate, people don’t tend to do their homework. When you don’t do your homework, chances are you will end up in an environment or situation that is just as miserable.

My advice is even in a situation that you are unhappy, you still have a job. While you have a job, you have time and time gives you the opportunity to find the “right job” and not just a job. When you are looking for a job, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. You need to assess if the job is going to fulfil your expectations when it comes to responsibilities, working hours, culture, management style etc. You should always go to an interview prepared to ask questions, not just about the job, but about the wider business and culture.

  • Why is this vacancy open? Why did the previous person resign?
  • What is the team culture like?
  • What is the management style of the manager/what is your management style?
  • What is the process in your business to progress, is it formal PDP’s or is it a situation where you apply internally?
  • Are they a structured or unstructured environment?
  • What are the daily typical duties in this role? What does a typical day look like?

I know there are extremes where you just can’t stay, like being sexually harassed for instance. However, generally I don’t advise just walking out of a job without having another one. Many companies have a focus on resilience and the way our world is going, resilience is going to be a continuous theme. Walking away from a situation without trying to resolve it may speak to that resilience or lack of it.

Secondly, don’t wait until you are so miserable that you get desperate. Desperation seeps from a person and it does not look attractive on anyone. There is a difference with wanting a job and being desperate for one.

Finally, take your career seriously. A career move can make or break a person’s career. I have seen people make hasty decisions instead of being strategic in their search. If you are not sure how to take things forward, speak to a career Councillor, a good recruiter, your peers or previous managers for advice. Treat your career move like any other big decisions in your life, because it is right up there with getting married, buying a house or having children. You can always walk away when you are not happy, however it may have a bigger consequence on your long-term career than you have thought through. We spend so much time at work, at least try to ensure you choose an environment that you are going to be happy in. We are not always fortunate to do our dream jobs, but you can find happiness if you like where you work and the people you work with. Remember if you’re not happy, do something about it before you’re desperate. There is no point jumping Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire.

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