Monday, January 2, 2017

In a Job You Don’t Like? Actions to Take to Get a Better Job

In a Job You Don’t Like?  Actions to Take to Get a Better Job

Forget the unemployment number for a minute; up to 72% of employed people are in a job they do not like. Are you one? Whether you are misemployed (no joy), underemployed (no pay, benefits, or challenge for your skills and experience) or overemployed (all work and no life), you deserve better.

There are mistakes employed people make that leads them to believe this is all they can get. Here are the actions to take to overcome those obstacles.

Action #1 - Cheese

Even if you have read it before, read the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson with an eye toward which character are you with regard to looking for a new job.

Realize that the good cheese is gone where you are and you need to strap on the shoes and get moving. You may need to process the loss of a formerly great company or the people you have developed close relationships with. As they say on airlines though “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others”. You need to do what is right for you and if that is finding a better job, then you need to do it. 

You need to get the fresh cheese. Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, said “Don’t spend 5 years getting 2 years’ worth of experience”. Do not let time go by without increasing your worth to future employers.  

If you have been in a company for a while your salary has undergone “compression”. You may be only receiving the typical 3% increases while the market far outpaces that. Changing jobs can mean more money.

Action #2 – Know Your Product

There are 4 generations of job seekers in the job market today. You have to know how to set yourself apart from the others. You need to know what you have done for your previous employers that will make you desirable to the next one.

You have to know your strengths and you cannot use what everyone else is using “I’m a people person, hard worker, quick study, detailed oriented, organized, blah blah blah.” You have to know and share your actual strengths.

Make use of your time at the company to get copies of your past performance reviews; they are a wealth of information. Get a list of any and all courses you have taken through the company. Also note the name of the software that you use.  Although you believe you will never forget this information, the memory goes quicker than you think.

Action #3 – Research How the Job Market Has Changed

Unless you have been in a job search in the past few years, you may not have a clue how different it is. From the marketing materials, to the ways to find openings, the job market has changed and to be successful, you need to understand and accept those changes.

If your resume starts with an Objective (1980’s you centered) or adjectives such as “Dynamic, multi-talented professional…” (1990’s fluff) or has “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom, then I welcome you to join us in 2017. If you or a “professional” developed your resume without looking at a cross sampling of job descriptions for the single type of job you are pursuing, then your resume needs a lot of work before you get out there.

Another difference is the job search approach. Only a minority of available jobs today are posted on-line and you have a 50 times greater chance of getting a job with a connection. Therefore, you can see why only 30% of people get a job by applying on-line. You need to know all of the approaches and use them proportional to their success rate. 

Action #4 – Warm Up Your Network

Now is a perfect time to connect on LinkedIn with current and former co-workers. You do not want to wait until you need them to talk with them for the first time in years.  Renew those acquaintances, find out what is new with them, and see what you can do for them.

Action #5 – Update Your Skills

Job security today no longer comes from a job title or even doing a good job. Companies let good performers go if it makes sense to them financially. Security does not come from a company or industry. Those days are gone.

Job security today is in your control; it comes from keeping your skills up, your experience current, and your network active. Check to see what skills companies are looking for in the job you are pursuing and start to get training in those areas. You do not have to spend a lot of money for training either; there are numerous free or inexpensive options.

Action #6 – Accept that it is Actually Harder to Find a Job While Employed

Although there may not be the financial pressure that comes with being unemployed, finding a job while working is hard. Not only do you have a full time job which usually means greater than 40 hours a week, but you have a life as well. The job search can be a fulltime job into itself.

Employed seekers have to be very intentional about chipping away at the job search. It is like eating an elephant – one bit at a time.
Take these actions now to get a better job.

RightChanges has seen a shift in the client base from a majority of unemployed to a greater percentage of employed clients wanting a better life.

You do not have to navigate the job search alone. RightChanges is here to partner with you. And to accommodate the growing employed sector, RightChanges is now offering Saturday hours upon request. For more information, go to