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How to Change Jobs When You’ve No Idea What to Do Next

anxious man working on a laptop

Searching for a new job is rarely an exciting adventure. Not knowing if you will be able to find work you enjoy doing and still make the money you need to pay your bills can be very stressful. In today’s climate, not knowing if you’ll need employee lawyers San Francisco in two months is equally stressful. However, there are a few steps you can take to make the most out of your job search.

1. Decide What Kind of Work You Want 

Figuring out what kind of work you want to do is more than just deciding on a career path. You also need to decide what hours you want to work and how much pay and benefits you need to live the life you want. 

Ask yourself questions such as, do you want to work remotely from home or are you willing to travel for the job you want? Do you want to work at a job that is very team oriented or do you prefer to work on your own? Are you okay with a job that doesn’t provide medical insurance or a 401k?

Make a list of what you hope to find at a new job and rank those items in order of importance from “must have” to “don’t care”. If having health insurance is non-negotiable, place it under “must have”. If you don’t mind working evenings and weekends, put working hours under “don’t care”. 

2. Engage and Take Action

Now that you know what you’re looking for and what benefits are non-negotiable, it’s time to get busy and reach out to people in your network. Actively engaging with people who can help you with your path forward and help you find open opportunities will benefit your job hunt greatly.

Think about reaching out to previous employers, educators, mentors, and colleagues that know you and could help point you in the right direction or offer recommendations. These people will also be able to provide solid references when you reach the interview process.

3. Reach Outside Your Circle

People you know can be extremely helpful when you’re looking for a new job, but reaching out to new people can open up a whole world of opportunities. They can offer advice on how to get where you want to be, especially if they’re working in the industry you’re interested in getting into.

Taking advantage of social platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn can help you connect with professionals of all stature. Create a professional LinkedIn account and include personalized inquiries to connect with people that are in your field of interest. 

Introduce yourself and let them know you’re looking for new career opportunities. Include information about why you’re interested in working for their company or getting into their industry. If they get back with you, ask to set up a meeting by phone or video conference.

4. Weigh Your Opportunities

Now that you have a good idea of what your career change will look like and you’ve made some connections, it’s time to work with the contacts you’ve made and find your best opportunity. If you’re offered several jobs and are not sure which one to take, make another list and compare the pros and cons of each.

Refer back to your original lists of “must have” and “ don’t care” and weigh each job opportunity based on the things that are most important to you. For example, if a job is a great fit but requires a two hour commute, you might be better off taking a job a little closer to home.

Being methodical about what you’re looking for and weighing benefits versus downfalls of each job will ensure that you end up in the best position for yourself as well as for the company you want to work with.