Several colleagues have been in situations where they have been unhappy
with their current role and prospects. They have asked what they might do.
Each situation is different. From close up, it may be hard to find a direction
‘out of that forest.’ If one steps back and views the situation from a distance,
there are some activities that might not jeopardize the current position and
might open possibilities.
That is the object of this contribution.
Some of the suggestions come from a nice article found on-line:
“Five Ways to put out feelers before doing an all-out search,” by Karin Halperin.
In the current job market in our industry we have come to affirm the maxim that
job security is the ability to obtain that next job.
There are always questions about how to begin. There is no question that each
one of us has the personal responsibility
(a) to continuously learn, keep our skills up to date, and develop new capabilities.
(b) There is another important element about honing “soft skills” whether it be
small talk, writing memos, delivering presentations, mentoring others. If English
is not your primary language, improve it so that it seems like it is.
(c) Another one is get out there and information interview in your industry, at least,
and in your targeted industry. We need to know what the trends are– constant
problems, emerging issues, and perhaps who is doing what.
Karin Halparin’s article brings out five that could be done at the same time. They
(1) Have your name become visable in professional networks that allow you to
contact people/firms and them to contact you. Social networks, like
LinkedIn.com and Zoominfo.com are quite popular for this. Some industries and
regions have their own.
(2) Go to professional meetings, national, regional and local, where you
would normally be expected to go. Make it a point to interact, contribute
and show some of your interpersonal skills. Find ways of meeting and
exchanging business information outside of your normal circle.
(3) The article cited focusing effort into a smaller range of companies to
make contacts with in various ways. A targeted SIC code or Dunn and
Bradstreet search might help in coming up with names.
(4) Develop your network connections again, keeping in mind that it will
help to have a range of ages, experience levels and sources. Cultivate
new Network connections.
(5) Assess your employment and personal values.
With the continuing growth in electonic means of connection new tools
seem to be always emerging. But there is a professional and ethical limit
here. Be aware of not violating the codes and responsibilities of your
Recognize that once your name is “out there,” you can be called at any
time. Be prepared for informal, screening interviews. Postpone them
until your setting is right and you are prepared. Be prepared to respond
to the usual questions in a professional manner. The preparation is key.
You need to be in the mode where you are ready for the next step before
Since I will be away for the next two weeks (ACS meeting in SF),
regular contributions to this blog might not appear.