There are a whole host of reasons why an individual wants to leave one job and move onto another. Below we have detailed the most common scenarios that we deal with and, hopefully, we have provided some useful guidance for each.
The ‘job for life’ ethos that was prevalent pre-2000 is, alas, no longer. Companies merge, cease trading, downsize, etc. Whatever the reason, you will likely have experience of redundancy or know someone who has been made redundant at some point. Often, redundancy can be voluntary and many individuals will jump at the chance to leave with a sizeable chunk of tax-free cash, confident that they will quickly find alternative employment. Compulsory redundancy, however, is often more troubling. You may be settled in your role and happy working for the business, only to be told that you will be made redundant.
Do not panic!
People in this situation often find that a compulsory redundancy forces them to act, and this very often leads them to pursue jobs that they had not previously considered. If you are in a role that is being made redundant, then you will be able to create an attractive CV. You will have developed a ream of valuable in-work skills that will be transferable across different sectors. The key is to remain calm, focused and start to reflect on what you have achieved at work and how you can sell this on a CV, application form or at an interview.
Things to consider:
- If you are due a redundancy payment, find out when the earliest exit date is to ensure you still receive this.
- Leave the business on good terms. It is likely that your new employer will seek a reference from someone within the business, and it won’t look good for you if this suggests that you began underperforming during your final few weeks.
- Begin making a note of your key achievements at work and specific details of training and qualifications you have gained in the role. These will be required for your CV.
- Once you have established the earliest exit date, begin applying for jobs where the cut-off date for application is around this date. Remember, colleagues who are being made redundant will probably start applying for the same jobs as you, so it is worth getting to the front of the queue.
- Access online training tools to brush up on CV writing and interview skills. You may not have needed to do this for quite some time!
Threat of redundancy
So, you have heard through the grapevine that there may be downsizing or the company is being bought as part of a merger acquisition – what do you do? Well, if you are happy in your role and performing well then it is likely that a merger of two companies could present some exciting opportunities. Likewise, when companies downsize, unless they completely close departments then they will not be looking to get rid of their best staff. However, you may find that talk of redundancy leads you to ask questions about your role. Am I really fulfilled here? Would a change of employer and job role increase my motivation? You may find that your early, tentative searches on the internet for vacancies reveal exciting roles that you are qualified for and experienced to do. Perhaps, regardless of whether the threat of redundancy is real or not, it’s time for a change.
Lack of progression
If this is your concern, then you need to be very clear what role you are aspiring to and the timescales of achieving this. If your current employer isn’t supporting your progression, you need to be able to communicate to a potential employer exactly what those goals are, why you want them, and by when. If you’re unable to clearly articulate this, then perhaps you’re not interested in career progression and, instead, are just looking to earn more money. This is fine; don’t get it confused with a lack of progression. Instead, just read the next section.
It is absolutely fine to seek more money for the job that you do, especially if you feel you are being paid below the current market value. You may very well find and secure a new role working for a competitor for more money. Just bear in mind that this may be the jolt that your current employer needs to recognise your value to the business, and they could counter this offer. Be prepared for this. Of course, money is a hugely important factor in where we choose to work and the job that we do, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all. If you are really happy in your role, enjoy the culture, have a great relationship with your manager, etc., then a good constructive chat in the first instance may resolve this issue.
Change of scenery
Sometimes you just get bored in your role. You have been with the company for years, the office is old-fashioned, the team meetings have the same agenda each month and your performance reviews with your manager actually leave you less motivated. The important things to consider are: Why am I bored? What do I want from a job? Only by identifying these will you ensure that a move to another business will be beneficial. This will also greatly assist you at an interview, as you can raise specific questions or explain, if asked, why you are considering leaving your current role and why this role excites you.
In the event that you are dismissed from your role, it would be easy to think that you won’t be able to find another job. This is not the case. However, it is vitally important to be honest and to disclose all details. Failure to do so will likely bring about another dismissal if you are offered a role, only for your new employer to find out the details of why you left your previous role. The key, following a dismissal situation, is for you to accept at least some responsibility. It is highly unlikely that you are totally blameless. So tell the prospective employer how a period of reflection has enabled you to learn from your mistakes, what areas of your in-work behaviours will change and improve, and how your dismissal will make you doubly determined to ensure that your next job is a success.