9 step plan to a new job

Step 1: Pinpoint exactly what is wrong with your current position:

•    Is it your colleagues?
•    Are you taking on more work without an increase in compensation?
•    Are you overworked?
•    Is it a disciplinary issue?
•    Or even pay?
•    Do you feel you are being treated unfairly?
•    Are you bored to tears at work?

This will help you clarify exactly what your goals are.

Step 2: Now step back and focus on the positive things that you have learned through this job. Yes, you are feeling frustrated and/or confused, but remember that resigning is only one of a number of options.

Step 3: You know what the problems are, so look for possible ways to resolve the issues. Start by approaching management to try and seek a resolution.

•    This could mean trying to negotiate your pay (find out your market work before you approach your manager),
•    Discuss your hours or see if you qualify for flexitime,
•    You might even be able to pinpoint issues with management which could be resolved in a few meetings.

Step 4: Seek options within your current company:

•    Could you be transferred?
•    Could there be another position in the company which would suit you better?
•    Are there any other departments which could assist in your daily work?

Step 5: If you're still determined to leave your job, then now is the time to act! NOW. Really. I'm not kidding. Get off your butt, face the fears and get serious.

Take a look at the skills and experience which you can offer the job market. Put these down in your CV and start updating it. See how to write the perfect CV in this series.

Also prepare a draft cover letter – you will have to amend this depending on the positions and companies which you apply for. Make sure not to make these common mistakes.

Step 6: Start keeping an eye out for possible job opportunities. Check the internet, talk to friends and family, keep an eye on recruiting sites or consult with a recruitment company.  Don't do this during company (I'm stating the obvious here, but let's be clear).

Step 7:
It's time to get ready for interviews, in case you get a call-back. Don't be nervous. We've rounded up some common interview questions and answers to help. Still feeling nervous? Here's more homework.

Step 8: Are you about to seal the deal with a new company? Make sure you get paid what you're really worth and that the company culture will suit you.  You don't want to go from being miserable in one job, only to land up frustrated in another.

Step 9: When you are ready – and only when you are fully prepared – hand in your resignation. And do it gracefully. How you quit your job is as important as where you go next.

If you want a counter-offer, give your boss enough notice to come up with one before you leave. Throughout this entire process, be nice to your current employers. Seriously. If you part on good terms, you will have new additions to your career network – ones which may be beneficial in the future.

Confused? Still feeling freaked out? Ask our career expert, Karel van der Molen for help.

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