Job Search Monday: Is It Time to Find a New Job

The growing economy means more jobs, and the nation’s 151 million workers may find themselves looking for greener pastures.

The latest numbers show 5.5 million job openings and the quits rate at 2 percent, according to the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The quits rate, which measures workers who leave their jobs voluntarily, was 1.3 percent in December 2009, its lowest point in the last 10 years. It has been rising since January 2014, when it hit 1.7 percent.

While finding new employment can potentially increase job satisfaction, Challenger advises only quitting a position once another offer is received. It's possible that you the job seeker might want to stay with your current company but take on new responsibilities or reinvigorate your current position. Perhaps you want to find greener pastures within your current company.

If Reinvigorating Your Current Job

  • Find ways to save money that require your efforts. For example, if you can figure out a way to accomplish work in less time while maintaining output of the same or better quality, you will be making a significant contribution to profitability.
  • Do not criticize the company or anyone in it. Even in the best of times, employers do not like complainers or those who appear to have dissident views or difficulties getting along on the job, especially from a new hire.
  • Become a problem solver. There are problem seekers – those who are adept at identifying all of the different problems that could arise in certain situations. Then there are problem solvers – those who identify the problems and then provide a workable solution. Employers want problem solvers. Increase your recognition as a problem solver by requesting difficult assignments. Individuals who gear their work lives in this direction can help make themselves “untouchable” during a downsizing or reorganization.
  • Do not hide. It is against many people’s nature to “toot their own horn.” In today’s business environment, such boasting is a necessity. Everyone, from CEOs on down, is busier with his or her own agenda, so to assume that someone is keeping track of your accomplishments would be a grave miscalculation. Prepare a monthly memo, updating your supervisor on the status of your projects and the major “victories” you have achieved.
  • Meet your boss’s boss. At the next company event, go out of your way to meet those at least two rungs higher on the corporate ladder. They are the ones who can advance your career.

This is not to say that it's only a good time for employed persons to find work; the 7 million unemployed workers have a good shot at finding employment as well, especially considering the number of workers who are leaving their jobs voluntarily. If you're looking for an entirely new job, Challenger offers the following tips:

If Jumping Ship

  • Get involved with community service group. This is a great way to build your network as well as hone your professional skills.
  • Start a personal website and/or join Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. More companies are searching the Internet for more information about candidates, so create a professional looking page that tells them you are exceptional. With millions of members, social and professional networking sites are also a valuable job search tool.
  • Join a professional/trade association. These organizations can provide training and education opportunities and most hold several networking functions every year. The dues are worth their weight in gold if you meet a person at an event who can help you find a new job (some employers pay for all or part of professional association dues).
  • Find and/or become a mentor. Mentoring and being mentored provide new perspectives and ideas about career goals and how to achieve them. Find or be a mentor within your organization and also outside of the organization. The outside perspective is especially useful and typically is free of ulterior motives.
  • Meet ten new people in your field but outside of your company. Building these relationships may help you in your current position and they will definitely help when you enter the job market.