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So…you are looking for a new job

September 25, 2009

Perhaps you want to look for something better or perhaps your situation has changed. Either way it gives you an opportunity to reassess your life and career. Your goals and objectives may be very different from the last time you looked for a new position.

It is critical to figure out what you want before you start looking.  Once you know the best fit, you can target companies and/or roles that match.  When you see an opportunity or get an offer, you will know immediately if it is the right one for you.

Here is a good list to help you evaluate what you need and want in a job and where you are willing to compromise. Once you fill it in, you need to put a weight to each answer. Are you willing to travel for more money? Are you willing to drive further for great technology? Are you willing to take less pay for great benefits and wear jeans everyday? You decide…but build a good picture of the position you want.

Once you complete the exercise, evaluate your current position next to this list to see what is missing. Is your current situation “fixable”? Sometimes, working with your manager to improve your current situation is the best answer. Please do not wait until you resign and they give you a counteroffer with promises to change things – it is NEVER good to accept a counteroffer.  Here goes:

Technical environment: what do I want to work with, does it need to be cutting edge, how do I want to grow my skills?

Company/Industry: am I passionate about a company or industry or product? Does the company have to be technology centric? or am I okay working on internal apps that help drive the core business?

Job security: is job security most important? can I afford some risks?

Challenges/Projects: what types of things do I want to work on?

Responsibility: do I want to be hands-on, architect, consult, leadership, management?

Growth opportunities/Advancement: where do I want to be in five years?

Environment: culture, team vs. independent, large vs. small company, casual vs. professional

Type of job: am I open to contract, permanent, contract to permanent

Location: where am I willing to drive – be very realistic here….are you willing to relocate?

Benefits: how important are benefits? what are non-negotiable items?

Vacation: how important is the time given for vacation? what would you trade?

Salary/Compensation: what are my minimum requirements? what do I realistically feel that I can make?

Travel: how much am I willing to travel and where (national, international)? do I want to focus on getting a travel position?

Flexibility: want vs. need – do I need telecommuting, flex-time, etc.  what am I willing to trade?