Job Search

When, Why & How to Look for a New Opportunity

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Looking for a job can become a very drawn out process, but when is it the best time to begin looking for a new job?  This post from Style Search & Consulting was originally posted on StylePortfolios.com and will help you decipher when is the best time to look for your new opportunity.

There are definitely “right times” to look for a new position with a new company. The most obvious being urgent need due to unemployment, dissatisfaction, company changes, layoffs, compensation cuts, inadequate bonuses and other negative factors that catalyze a dire need to find a job. There are also people who know they want to make a change in the future, but are not sure when to initiate the search and how. Pondering this question at this stage becomes a preoccupation of sorts, figuring out when and how to look for a new job, and it is often accompanied by ambivalence, frustration, stress and fear of making a mistake. And then for others, the thought of making a move doesn’t enter their mind. They are content to stay in their positions without thinking about growth or advancement. It isn’t until someone taps their shoulder with the right kind of move for them that they see there is an important, rewarding career path and growth opportunity for them to explore. Professional, personal and financial growth comes with making a positive change in jobs for the purpose of realizing one’s full potential. So there are many reasons why everyone in the jewelry, accessories and fashion marketplace should be educated about, prepared for and open to new opportunities. Surely once you land the right job at the right time, job satisfaction, performance achievements and tenure become important. But future growth should always be in your mind as well, unless you plan to retire from the company of present employment.

From our perspective and experience, there is no “wrong” time to review opportunities, but a lot of right ones. It is necessary to  stay informed about the economy, status of the industry, the number and type of employment opportunities on the market, as well as the health of your present employer. Is the present economy fueling the market you are working in? What is the health of the company you are working for financially and as a competitor in the marketplace? Are there a substantial or limited number of opportunities out there for you based on the type you are looking for? No matter where you are in your job search, you have to be ready, ahead of time—at all times—to make a move out of urgent necessity, a planned next step, or a golden opportunity that crosses your path compelling you to consider it even though change may not be a present contemplation. So whether or not your job search is immediate, imminent or not in progress at all, you need to be prepared.

The most unexpected time, but best time to consider a career move is when you are tapped, or you see, a position that will enable you to grow professionally and personally. Making a move out of choice versus necessity enables you to constructively decide to take a position that means growth and forward movement in your career trajectory. Should the position be upwardly mobile at a healthy company, you will achieve greater heights in your profession, experience challenges that enhance your abilities and achievements, and most importantly, create greater satisfaction in your professional and personal lives. And you will enjoy the financial rewards and perks that go along with moving up. Image loving your job and its monetary rewards—that comes with making a positive change. Another opportunity to consider should it come onto your radar is a lateral move that provides those same rewards as a position offering promotion. A higher level position is not the only available choice. If a position comes along that offers you the same benefits for moving sideways, and into a position that would bring you greater satisfaction, that is a positive next step to ponder. Contemplate any opening that offers you greater potential for the type of growth you seek be it in skills, abilities, experience or job satisfaction. And definitely consider changing jobs should an opening come to light with a desirable, financially stable company. And certainly vie for a healthy increase in your salary and benefits. Although you may feel content in your present role and with the company you work for, complacency can mean stagnation, which is detrimental to career development.

With so many career paths and opportunities available in these industries, it doesn’t hurt to consider them. There are opportunities that will surely come your way, and it is important to evaluate and explore these opportunities. You are in the ideal position—job openings have come to you versus your having to seek them out. Exploring does not necessarily have to mean you are doing something wrong or are obligated to make a change if you talk to people about job openings; it means educating yourself about the possibilities out there that perhaps you never thought of before. It enables you to learn about your value in the marketplace, financially and otherwise. It also means making valuable contacts that can be important to you in so many ways, whether you change positions or not. Certainly remaining at your present company is always an option, but ask yourself if your present position offers you the situations described here. You might feel fear and reticence about seizing these opportunities, but in our world those are clear signs that taking the job you are offered, in these situations, is the absolute best next step to take.

The second stage of job change is when you know you want to make a change in the near future, and you start thinking about, planning for and taking steps toward what you want to do next, whether it’s landing a position that is a step or big jump up, or looking for a similar position at a different company. At this type of juncture, look at the job openings currently available on industry websites and in relevant magazines and newspapers. Sign up for job alert services and start making contacts now. At your present position, take every opportunity to improve, advance, assume greater responsibility and reach levels of performance that make you more valuable and will help you obtain the position you seek. Personally, you will feel self satisfaction as having achieved greater heights in your position and career.

If your job search is immediate, it is important not to take a position just for the sake of landing a job. It may take longer to find something, but if you take a job out of desperation, you jeopardize your career and personal well being. You have to think about your resume and career trajectory—do you want short stints on your resume, do you want to take a job that doesn’t make sense as an appropriate next step, and do you want to be unhappy each day you go to work? While I understand that sometimes one has to take a job to keep an income coming in, there are always other options besides quickly securing what could turn out to be a bad situation. If you are laid off, or see a need to quit for other reasons, explore available help by requesting severance, seeking unemployment benefits, thinking about and exploring other types of careers and positions – including occupations that are not in the fashion industry – and explore them as part of your job search. To make such a change, you will have to strategize as to how you are qualified for a new role. That will take intensive preparation, research and strategy based on how your skills and experience translate to the new occupation. Education is not only a great step in that kind of transition but is incredibly valuable should you find yourself without a job. Taking classes during this time will not only enhance your skills and experience relative to your recent occupation, but looks great on a resume as a productive bridge between positions and shows initiative and drive to prospective employers, giving you an edge over other applicants who did not try as hard during the unemployment period. There are plenty of scholarships and grants available to help with the cost.

It is also important to always be prepared for that rare opportunity, the future plan to become present, and should you be forced to find a job. It is incredibly difficult to conduct a constructive job search during anxiety laden times from having to urgently find a job. It can become daunting and anxiety provoking to urgently look for a job out of need versus a positive exploration and planning of the best next step in your career trajectory . The availability of openings impacts what position you next take, which could not be in your best career interests or satisfying. Writing a resume on the fly may not turn out the best and most complete it can be when you are rushing to complete on. And interviewing with confidence, not urgent need, becomes daunting and stressful.

No matter what stage you are at in your job search, be prepared. That is why we recommend exploring opportunities along the way, having your resume at its best and ready at all times, practicing interview skills and making valuable contacts by meeting with connections whether that meeting is for the purpose of interviewing or making connections.

We are here to assist you at any and all points in your career. We have a lot of openings, at all levels, that we are recruiting for. We offer resume services and provide interview coaching should you land an interview with one of our clients. And we are experts at negotiation – seeking to obtain our candidates’ wish lists and the best compensation package possible. Confidentiality is of utmost importance to us, as well as our candidates, and we ensure that it is maintained at all costs. So please feel free to contact us out of need, plan or curiosity. You can email us at prima@stylesearchers.com to initiate a conversation; please include a resume (if you have one) and let us know the best way to contact you and any limitations you would like us to observe in terms of when and how often to contact you. The greatest benefit to reaching out to us is that you will automatically hear from us when there are opportunities for your consideration present or future. We make it easy for you to explore openings and evaluate them at any stage in your career.

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Style Search & Consulting is a leading recruitment firm dedicated to placing talent in the fashion industry (www.stylesearchusa.com), an industry she has been in for 25 years. Adriane Lee Schwartz is CEO of Style Search & Consulting. She is also a professional resume writer. Adriane holds a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Writing. She is a speaker and published writer on employment-related topics. If you want assistance creating a winning resume, Adriane can help. You can reach her at resumewritingresults@gmail.com. For questions related to your interview, please contact us at as@stylesearchers.com.