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Three questions to ask before you make your next career move

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

There are numerous reasons why you might be thinking of changing jobs but like any of life’s big decisions, it’s important to explore all the options and really think things through. Kate Allen, managing director at Allen Associates, has come up with three questions she feels you should ask before you make your next move.

Why do I want to make a change?
It’s crucial to understand your reasons for wanting to change your employer, role or industry sector. Is it something which could be resolved at work, by talking to your boss, line manager, or someone independent? Or is it something more fundamental, such as your working environment, the people around you, lifestyle issues, family commitments or commuting challenges. Perhaps you are ambitious and looking for a step up the career ladder – or, just very simply, want a change of scenery and a new opportunity? Being clear on why you want to leave helps to define what you’re looking for in your next place of work and the next role that you do. This will empower you to discuss your requirements with your recruiter and address them at interview stage, making sure that the new job is the right fit, and ultimately avoid finding yourself in a similar situation further down the line.

What needs to change to make me feel fulfilled in my next role?
Use changing jobs as an opportunity to take a long and hard look at what you really want to do and where you want to end up. What will make you truly fulfilled? What motivates you? What does a positive change look like? Don’t just think about the job or the industry you work in; think about the bigger picture – the culture, the type of people you like to work with, what’s important to you in an employer, and what sort of environment you need to bring out the best in you. Do you want a vibrant, all-hands-on-deck, small company buzz? A steady, reliable, well-structured corporate environment? Or perhaps you fancy building a portfolio career, working remotely, doing contract work or temping? 

Is there anything my current employer could do or say to make me change my mind?
It’s worth considering this question up front because the market is rife with counter offers, as employers battle to retain their top talent. While this can be hugely flattering for you as a candidate, it is a huge waste of everyone’s time. But most importantly, it’s worth bearing in mind that while accepting a counter offer from your current employer may appear to be a solution, it can have negative repercussions. There’s a danger that you may lose the respect of colleagues and even your boss, who will remain fearful that you’re not completely committed. They may question your loyalty when they come to consider candidates for promotion and it may not be possible to regain their trust. It is always easier to try to resolve any issues at the start of the process so that if you decide to take your career elsewhere, you’re focussed on the future and aren’t tempted to look back.

Allen Associates is one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment consultancies, specialising in temporary and permanent roles at all levels within PA and Administration, HR, Marketing and Finance. If you’d like to speak to us about your next career move we’d love to hear from you. Check out our latest jobs or give us a call on 01865 335600 and we’ll do our best to help.

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