Before considering making a job change, consider where you are now and where you might like to be in the future. Ask yourself these three questions:
What do I love doing?
What companies interest me?
How can I build a career at one of those companies?
1. What Do You Love Doing?
If you want to have a strong career with a growth-oriented company in the logistics industry, then you need to be able to identify your own strengths, whether that be in maritime, LTL, logistics, or 3PL. In such a diverse industry as logistics, that’s the first thing to consider. Identify your strengths in leadership, coaching, sales, or operations.
2. Do Your Research
It is best to be savvy, so take a good look at all the companies in your field. Read whatever materials you can get your hands on. Newsletters, industry reports, magazines, articles online. Do your research. Hop online and understand which companies play to your strengths.
For instance, if you really love fashion, probably New York or San Francisco. If it’s maritime you want, then Iowa might not be your best place. So, identify and target what makes you happy (and challenged) and steer your career in the direction of companies who support those activities.
3. Network, Network, Network
Building your career is based on the foundation of networking. Find out where principle individuals and key players from those companies will be speaking, and network at those events. Is there somebody whose career you admire? You can always call somebody and ask them directly for an informational interview.
Job-hopping is an obvious hindrance to building a strong career. We’ve been asked, “What’s the minimum I can stay?” What we’ve seen is that three years is the minimum, as it generally takes three to five years to have a positive impact in a company. Less than that and you’re hurting your career. In our experience, people in positions to hire are consistently turned off by less than three to five years.
Criteria to Consider for Making a Job Change… or Not
Teasing out your reasons for making a job change is paramount to your future happiness and success. Money alone is never a good reason to switch firms. There are six elements to consider prior to leaving your current position and prior to accepting a new one. If all six are true, you should stick with your job. If even one of them is lacking, you might want to consider making a job change.
You must like and trust the people with whom you work. If you don’t trust them, there’s no sense in getting up in the morning.
You have to feel like you’re appreciated. Part of your appreciation is your salary, however it’s no good if you are being paid 150K, but are being treated horribly.
There has to be room for you to grow. If your direct supervisor is young and content with no desire to move on, or if the owner’s son is vying for your next promotion, it might be a good idea to look for another job. But, if your direct supervisor is interested in succession planning so that you could grow into a regional salesperson in a couple years instead of your current sales rep position, then that might be enough incentive to stay put.
You need the tools for success. No sense in bringing on new customers if operations are not in place to serve them properly. Review the resources and processes needed for internal growth.
The company has to be financially solvent. It’s no good if your career is going up, but the company is going down.
You have to feel like you’re in the right location for your family and loved ones. You’re current job is no good if it is in Timbuktu and you want to be in Australia with your family.
So, if all six criteria are in place, consider staying where you are and growing within your company. If, however, even one of the six elements are missing in your current job, consider making a job change by planning for a better future now.