Reading the signs – Is it time to start job hunting?


By guest blogger, Leora Kanner 


Is it time to start your job search? A few ways to find out!

Do you feel comfortable in your job but not completely happy? Are you contemplating better opportunities, but can’t decide if it’s the right time to take the leap? We have all been there – content in our positions, yet somewhat yearning for something new. The question is, when is it the right time to take the job hunt leap? Your job is fine, but is it time to move on?

Especially for people early in their careers, it is important to remember not to get too smug, and to know the right time to seek the next great thing.  Although there can be a plethora of reasons to begin job hunting, below are some basic signals to look out for. If any of these seem familiar, it is time to actively jump back in the application game (because the right job isn’t going to fall into your lap without a little effort).

1 – You don’t have the best relationship with your manager

Sometimes, the people you work for don’t have your best career interests at heart. They may not give you constructive criticism, or delegate responsibility properly. Whatever the specific issue, if you dread your manager’s voice it’s probably time to look for someone new – your manager should be someone that you can turn to for mentorship, not someone that you avoid interacting with.

2 – You don’t know how to advance in your career

This happens to almost everyone. Your supervisor or boss has no plans to leave, but until they do your job and responsibilities will remain the same. Don’t bide your time, waiting for the magical moment when you will get promoted despite the fact that your team member is still around…it probably won’t happen. Most companies have specific team structures and unless someone quits, you won’t get that unheard of promotion.

3 – You feel like you aren’t learning anything new

The first few months, or even years, of a job, or overwhelming because you are likely learning a huge amount of new information. The minute you feel comfortable its hard to imagine starting the whole process over again. But if you are new in your career, it’s important not to get complacent. If you feel that there is more for you to learn, but your current job isn’t giving you the opportunity to grow, consider moving on for the sake of your future.

5 – You are jealous of coworkers who quit

This might seem like a no brainer. If the minute you hear a coworker is leaving your first reaction is “I’m so jealous,” it’s time to begin your search seriously. Don’t chock it up to a bad day at work; your gut reaction is confirming that the next person out should be you.

Leora Kanner is a media buyer/planner working, playing (and sometimes job hunting) in NYC. She loves entertainment, travel, and music and can often be found drinking too much coffee or walking in the park (even in the cold!) 



Combatting Ageism…Can It Be Overcome?

Sadly, one of the challenges in job search today is having to deal with Ageism. And even sadder, is age discrimination for people who are about 45+. Not that it is fair to discriminate based on any age, but the problem has expanded to the “younger, older” people if you will. To complicate matters, many people who are now classified as the “long-term unemployed” often fall into this category of 45+ and must endure the biases about being out of work for a long period as well as the fact that they are “mature” workers.

Sometimes the discrimination is somewhat discreet, with a job seeker sensing the problem in action… or via awkward questions during interviews.  Other times, the bias is very direct with an interviewer stating the age concern as a reason the person is being ruled out. Even better, I have seen a couple of emails where a candidate is told that they are too old! (Can you imagine that someone would be foolish enough to put that in writing?!)

Is it possible to overcome ageism? Well, as I always say, there are some things we can control and other things we cannot, whether we are talking about ageism or anything else in life. The priority is to focus on what you can control and do whatever you can to increase the odds that people will see you for your VALUE and not focus on your age.  After that, commend yourself for a job well done and take pride in your efforts.  So here are some ideas that may help:

  • Physical Appearance:  It is important to present a professional, up to date image – is your haircut dated? Is your clothing in style? Your wardrobe does not need to cost a fortune but it should be in sync with the times.
  • Technology: Be aware of what today’s standards are and what is accepted as general knowledge. If you do not know what a tablet, iPad, or kindle is, then you appear dated. Are you using a smartphone of some sort? Do you know what FaceBook is? Do you know what LOL means?  Do you know how to use email? You do not need to be an expert on all of these but if you want to be viewed as cutting edge, then you need to understand the jargon and usage of such items.
  • Résumé and LinkedIn Profiles: How far back do you go? More than the last 15 years is usually not necessary, unless there is older experience that is relevant to your current target. If that is the case, there are a variety of ways to present that information without reflecting how old you are. (And please, delete words like “seasoned” from your résumé!)
  • Energy: Do you reflect an energetic image or a tired one? Be sure to regularly participate in physical activities that improve energy levels and foster a youthful image.
  • Salary Flexibility: Sometimes employers and recruiters fear that older workers will want too much money.  And while it is always nice to have a salary increase, job seekers need to show flexibility. Keep in mind that your paycheck is not just about salary – there are usually various other benefits that you may be able to negotiate (health benefits, vacation time, etc.)
  • Market your strengths: Be targeted. Focus on your strengths and how you can help the employer. Showcase the value you bring to the table. It is about what you can do for THEM.

Do you have any other ideas? Please share them!