How Do You Make a Fresh Start in Your Career? 5 Questions to Consider:

choice of career orientation

1. When is the time right?

Financial considerations – not just hitting your pocket! Have you considered the effects of looking for a job at different times of the year? Seasonally, recruitment is slower during and around the summer break. If your search is international, lengthy breaks occur at different times around the globe. Recruitment is built around these breaks but the process is extended due to time out for different reasons.
Personal finances will affect the length of time you can devote to your job search. Senior roles within our industry can take up to a year to progress through to start date. How long can you exist. Do you stay in your current role for the duration of the search.

2. Do you wait until you’re desperately unhappy?

Unhappiness in current role is easy to spot by potential employers and makes then uneasy. It is more desirable to entice an applicant from a currently successful career. Transferable success demonstrates potential success to employers. In a nutshell, my experience is that employers prefer to know that an applicant is keen to join the company as the next step in their already successful career rather than due to unhappiness in their current position.

3. Are you doing it for the money?

Would you still do your job if you don’t get paid? Most people work in a paid role for the most part of their working lives, say 40 years. If you think about the worst part of your current job, maybe weekly sales meetings as an example, and calculate how many of these you will attend if you remain in your current role. At a rate of twice a week (if you’re lucky) that will be (at a working rate of 40 weeks per year) 3200 you will have to endure. Is the money you’re earning enough to endure these or other aspects of your current role?
As opposed to this, when we Head Hunt for a particular role and the first question the candidate asks is ‘How much?’ we know there’s the possibility that they may engage in auctioneering which jeopardises long term commitment to moving as they could be ‘bought out’ by their current employer, and that was their goal.
At times, but not rarely, we fill positions with candidates who have made the decision to take a pay cut or have moved sideways to another company to gain employment somewhere that offers greater opportunities for the future, with a larger or more prestigious company, or one that mentors their employees and guides their career development.
The point I’m trying to make is that changing careers for the money will not necessarily advance your career nor guarantee positive returns on your investment.

4. How sincere are you in taking time to consider your move?

‘Talking to your warmest contacts, having open ended conversations, asking people to tell you about their field, is how you really cross the threshold to successfully changing direction’, says John Less, author of How to Get the Job You’ll Love. Each step in your career will build upon the previous. In my experience as a recruiter, when there is an incongruous step in your career you will spend much time in later interviews talking about why it was taken. Take your time to make considered moves.

5. Does it help to build your social networks?

Building and maintaining your social network will extend your reach beyond your immediate circle. It increases visibility within your professional network internationally and is essential for candidates who are open to international appointments. Remember to present yourself on social media as you want to be remembered. ‘Describe yourself in a way that’s relevant to the kind of role you’re looking for’, says Corinne Mills, Managing Director of Personal Career Management. We use social media for Head Hunting at all levels of seniority. It is an essential strategy for candidate sourcing.

Dianne Rowe, Director Rowe & Co Global Search Consultants and Leadership Coach.

Image © Olivier Le Moal –

Rowe & Co