When is the best time to look for a new job?
Some days I spend more than 5 hours on the phone talking to people looking for a new job. And my interview style is very relaxed, it’s about getting to know the person and their key motivators, but despite me being laid back, I do have some standard questions which I always ask and one is “why are you looking for a new job?” The answers are so varied, from the standard ones of wanting more money and no career progression, to “I’m not really looking, this advert caught my eye”, through to some really sad circumstances. I think I’ve heard all the reasons there are, but one pulled at my heart strings a few weeks ago which got me thinking. When is the best time to look for a new job?
The candidate in question contacted me on LinkedIn as they wanted some advice. We’d never spoken before so I was unsure of the reason for them contacting me, and even now I’m not sure why they picked me to speak to, maybe it was fate. But the candidate was so unhappy to the point where their health was suffering. And having never spoken to this candidate before, they trusted me enough to share their experience and in return, I found myself opening up about the times I’d left jobs. 2 instances came to mind.
The first was when quite simply, my boss pissed me off. My Dad was critically ill and instead of rushing to his bedside, I’d carried on working. The main reason for this was he lived in Australia and I couldn’t risk getting on a flight, only for me to be told when I got off the plane 21 hours later that he had died. I knew if he did die, I needed someone by my side when I was told. So with 2 brain surgeries over a 10 day period, I did a mixture of working from home, going into the office, slept when I could as I was awake a lot of the night speaking to doctors and generally pacing the floor. But I still worked 9 hours during a 24 hour period, all the work got done and I was still very much contactable for the retailer who knew nothing of what I was going through. And all the time I was told if I needed to go out there I could. I was so grateful for their support and the flexibility but explained once I knew the prognosis, I’d book a flight and go. So when I went to ask for the 10 days off work I was told I couldn’t have the time off as it didn’t suit the business, plus someone else was on holiday as it was half time. To say I was furious was an understatement. And as I marched back to my desk, my mobile rang…….it was a recruiter asking if I was looking for a new job. And I said yes. 4 months later I started my new job.
The second time, I worked for a bully. Simple as that. He made my life hell, I became depressed and I picked up every single bug, illness, virus that was going round and on one occasion I genuinely thought I was going insane as I didn’t recognise the person I had become. And after a 15 month battle, by 8.10am on my first day back from a 2 week holiday, I resigned without a job to go to. Being unemployed and losing my house was a better option than carrying on as I was.
So whatever your key motivators are for looking for a new job, remember this. You have to be committed to the process, and I mean fully committed. I’ve also been for interviews when I haven’t been committed and looking back it wasn’t fair on anyone. The recruiter, the people interviewing me or my employer as I discreetly took time off work. Finding a new job is really hard work so please make sure you are ready for the additional short term stress and think about the following points:
1) Spend the time on your CV before you send it out.
2) Do your research on the company before you send your CV off.
3) Check your diary and make sure you can get time off for interviews. The number of people I’ve spoken to who get an interview and then have to drop out as they’re suddenly too busy to take time off.
4) Interview Preparation is key, allow time for this. Plus check out our blog about Interview Preparation as this goes into a lot more detail.
Finding a job is hard work but my god it’s worth it when you get the job of your dreams.
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