Spring is here. Time to clean the windows, wash the draperies and re-evaluate your career. The latter means you need to consider taking...
Spring is here. Time to clean the windows, wash the draperies and re-evaluate your career.
The latter means you need to consider taking a class or attending a seminar that could jump-start your rise on the corporate ladder. Also, update your résumé, make sure you have interview attire and schedule interviews to evaluate your job situation, even if you’re not looking.
“You never know when an opportunity may come up,” said Mike Boffo, an account executive at PrincetonOne, a national recruiting company.
Do you wonder if the grass is really greener on the other side? You may want to test the waters at another company.
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“You should be ready to respond quickly,” Boffo said.
Update your résumé
Treat your résumé like a fire alarm. Make sure it’s ready at all times, even if you aren’t looking for a job. It should be fresh and current.
Update it with accomplishments, promotions, seminar and conference attendance (with dates), software proficiencies, etc.
“If you wait until you are forced or decide to move on, you’ll struggle to remember or take the chance of inserting incorrect information,” Boffo said.
Update your closet
Does your suit fit? Is it clean? It may be a good time to hit the mall or visit the cleaners.
Your wardrobe should be conservative, but that doesn’t mean a black suit.
“Certainly no colorful plaids or stripes,” Boffo said.
And for women, open-toed shoes are a no-no.
They should be conservative, not sexy.
Your briefcase should include a copy of your updated résumé and references, a notebook with at least five prepared questions and any letters of recommendation.
Evaluate your situation
Revisit your yearly goals. Make a list of new ones and be realistic. Think about what drives you and where you want to be a year, two, five and 10 years from now.
“Compare where you are in your career against your goals,” said Boffo.
Compare your job to another position you may interview for. Visit the other employer’s Web site, talk with others about the company and enlist other resources to better understand the company and its products, services and history.
Sometimes, a lateral move in income is acceptable if your situation improves in other ways.
See if the grass really is greener on the other side. Find what your shade of green is.
“In other words, why are you not happy where you are?” said Boffo.
Be cautious and selective about whom you talk to. Try not to let your employer know you are interviewing elsewhere. Instead, talk to someone who works at the other company or someone who knows its culture.
Schedule some interviews
Be an attentive listener and be concise with answers. But you don’t want to appear rushed at an interview.
Don’t try to use a job offer as leverage at your current job.
“Your employer will always feel that you betrayed him and he will never look at you the same again,” Boffo said.
Technology changes rapidly. Staying up-to-date on industry trends can help prove you take your current position seriously.
See if your current employer offers classes on industry trends, attend seminars, take classes at a local university or sign up for continuing-education classes.
If your industry requires yearly continuing-education classes, spring is a good time to sign up for classes, even if they are months away.