One of the MUD CARDS in a recent workshop asked:
How do I express to people that I am seeking employment
or a change of positions without seeming to beg or needing
to express why?
In today’s very mobile employment scene, changing jobs occurs
for many reasons and more frequently than we expect and at
times when we might not expect to.
My first inclination offers that we should in constant “committed
networking” mode. It helps you maintain relevance and contact
- in your field and outside of your field
- at the same stage of your career and at earlier and later stages
- needing help and offering help to others, even if nothing comes
back in return.
A step before committed networking involves you performing a
personal self assessment about what your motivations are
for employment at this point in time and perhaps if you
are tuned to near term changes, in your near future. Are you
motivated by: advancement, affiliation, balance, excitement,
ability to contribute to the greater good, security, desire to
learn, respect, — whatever it is!
Figure out if it is your feelings or the position that you are
in (if you seek a change from current employment). The
“rub” you may have may start with current job conflicts
(boss, responsibilities, time commitments, travel, co-workers,
mission, security), but evaluate if it is in your personal motivations
or in the position. A change of positions, if it is in your
motivations, might not be satisfied with a change of positions.
Amy Gallow authored a thoughtful HBR piece on modifying
one’s current roles and responsibilities to improve personal
job satisfaction without formally changing positions.
Perhaps the most telling approach involves understanding
the “interviewing continuum” and the role of networking
conversations, small talk and introductions. Viewing your
job search as part of series of interviews that you have
significant influence in participating helps you proactively
pursue positions without feeling as if begging.