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Job Change? Here’s How To Make This Mission Possible

December 15, 2011

"I can't wait to resign and start my new job"

January is typically a time when many adults make New Year’s resolutions to change some part of their lives.  It is also may be a time for you to reflect about making a career change or job move in search of greener pastures.  In the book Love ’em or Lose ’em, the authors list a number of reasons why employees leave their current jobs.  Based on their research, they explain that employees resign for more than just for bigger salaries.

If you are thinking about a possible career change for whatever reason, then exercise some discretion and maintain a high level of confidentiality.  Like the Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) character in the movie, Mission Impossible, you should treat your job search as a top secret mission and carefully guard what information you share with others not directly involved in the process so that your manager does not inadvertently find out what you are doing.

Here are some pitfalls to avoid as you start your secret mission – your job search:

  1. Too much time at the copy machine or printer.  Be careful not to increase your amount of clerical work or behaving strangely around the copy machine or printer.  Also, if you print out your resume, don’t forget to pick it up immediately.  You don’t want your resume floating around the office.
  2. Unexplained time off.   Be careful not to alarm your manager by a sudden trend of repeatedly use of personal vacation or blocks of time off for job interviews.
  3. Sudden change in dress code.  Try not to show up in a suit to work for an after-work job interview.  Don’t arrive late or take a long lunch dressed unusually formal.  This may trigger unwanted questions from suspicious minds at work.
  4. Increase in private phone calls or texting.  Be careful not to go into conference rooms too much to take private calls or text messages.  The workplace is full of rumors and gossip.  Try to keep your nose clean of all of it.  You don’t want people to start noticing or gossiping about suspicious behavior.
  5. Increase in use of Internet.  Nowadays, many companies and recruiters use online social recruiting tools like myJoblinxLinkedInTwitter or Facebook to engage with potential candidates.  Manage your privacy settings so that certain individuals are not reading any recent updates on your profile.  Try to keep a low profile as much as you can especially if you have your current manager in your professional network.
  6. Secret meetings with co-workers. Refrain from sharing information details of your job search with your close colleagues at work especially if you sit in an open cube environment – you never know who is listening.  As a recruiter, I am actually surprised how many employees would come to me and share openly what they have been offered and wanted my opinion if they should accept or negotiate.
  7. Change in attitude.  Try not to mentally check out as you are thinking about leaving.  Try to minimize your frequent complaints and other expressions of dissatisfaction.  Have a positive attitude and stay engaged until you have a job offer in hand then you can think about your exit strategy.

You may feel alone during this job search process or may feel like a secret spy agent.  However, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to minimize any distractions or “red flags” from your manager or employer so that you may increase your chances for a successful job search.  In other words, treat some aspects of your job hunt like a secret mission.  Still a need an extra nudge, try to hum the tune to the Mission Impossible theme song as you get into job search mode – it may add a level of suspense to your job hunt.

Do you have some job search pitfalls to share?  Let the rest of us know.  We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions.  Like us and add your voice to the conversation.

Good luck and happy job hunting!    Please note, this post will self-destruct in five seconds.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Media Mark permalink
    December 15, 2011 11:18 am

    “Based on their research, they explain that employees resign for more than just for bigger salaries.” I have NEVER had anyone leave a job that worked for me, except for more money or because they were moving away. HR folks have been trying to cram this idea on hiring managers for about 30 years- and we NEVER believe them.

    So I guess much like HR’s job is to find reasons NOT to hire someone, their second directive it to push down from above all the reasons why I can’t pay someone more- or hire at a higher salary.

    • Edward Avila permalink*
      December 15, 2011 9:12 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Of course there are some very good managers out there who keep their employees very happy and their employees don’t leave due to the strong working relationship with their managers. It sounds like you are one of those effective managers and have good experience with retaining top talent.

      But there are also some not so good managers who do not know how to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Their employees will leave even if they are paid very well, as they are not happy in their jobs. Sure, they may keep working until they find something better with more money, but most likely, money (even if they tell you that) won’t be the main reason they are leaving.

      It’s easy to generalize but all situations are different.

  2. January 8, 2012 10:33 am

    Wohh just what I was looking for, thanks for posting.


  1. 2012: Who Else Wants To Keep Their New Year Resolutions? « myJoblinx blog – Jobs and Career Advice from Recruiters

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