Have a Job but Want a Different One?
Posted on January 11, 2017
I just had dinner with one of our former ambassadors who landed an awesome job after college but is learning that it might not be her forever. She really enjoys her job and finds it interesting but there is another industry that she thinks might interest her more. She finds herself missing the industry that she interned in! I’m sure many of our readers can relate to this. You have one job that you know is a cool job but it might not be the job for you. You want to move jobs but it might not be the right time.
First, I told her to focus on internal and external networking. I write about this a lot in Welcome to the Real World. When we start new jobs, we tend to get comfortable and forget to network internally or externally. On one hand, it’s important to maintain the strong relationships at your current company. You want to get as much as possible out of the experience. Continue to challenge yourself as best you can within your current role. Meet as many people as possible at your current company. Attend company events, company lunches, even get a company mentor (if they have a mentorship program).
Simultaneously, you want to continue to network outside of your company. Did you go on job interviews in the industry that you want to work in? Did you get rejected? Network with the people who rejected you. Send them notes. Follow their business. Stay on their radar. Let them know what you are up to. You don’t have to tell them you are actively searching for a new career just let them know you are still interested in their company and in their field. Attend networking events for this industry. Connect with industry leaders on LinkedIn. Make it your side gig to network and connect with people in the industry that you DO want to work in.
Since the person I’m talking about is a recent grad, I did tell her I thought it was important that she stay at her current job for one year before leaving. You’re going to learn a lot from every job experience, regardless of whether it’s your dream job or not. Soak in all that you can and when you do want to leave (once you’ve hit your year mark), you will be a more desirable candidate. You’ll have the respect of your current boss since you stayed for a year and when you go to interviews you won’t be classified as a ‘recent grad’. Instead, you’ll be a recent grad with one full year of work experience – it does make a difference!
My last piece of advice is to know the industry and follow the business. I like to follow the advertising industry. It’s not my industry, but we do several ad campaigns for brands. I read AdWeek and AdAge and I try to follow the industry leaders on LinkedIn. Do the same for the business that you want to be in. Know the business, follow the business. This knowledge will help you not only excel at the interview but also perform well once you land your new job!
Photo by Anna McNaught.