Staying productive in your current job while looking for your next
Nearly half of the U. S. workforce is either considering or actively looking for a new job. That’s a lot of dissatisfied and ambitious workers.
There are many reasons people want a new job; more responsibility, flexibility, money or better benefits are all on the list. But the number one reason people leave a job is an ineffective manager who doesn’t communicate well or offer constructive feedback that leads to professional growth or advancement.
Whatever your combination of reasons, when dissatisfaction and ambition converge, and there is no growth path at your current organization, it’s time to look for new opportunities.
Once you’ve decided to move on, you effectively have two jobs. Job one is staying productive and positive in your current role. After all, it’s hard to know how long you’ll be there. Job two is managing your search. Again, it’s often impossible to know how long that will take.
Controlling the stress of the search while remaining positive and productive at work requires a bit of planning. Here are some ideas.
1) Don’t show your hand
While you’re looking for a new job, don’t check out of your current one. Showing boredom and dissatisfaction signals your manager that you are unhappy. When you signal unhappiness, you set yourself up as a “victim.”
A victim mindset depletes the positive energy you MUST HAVE to objectively analyze new opportunities and interview well.
2) Manage your time
Searching for a new role while working is all about time management. You may need to start your day earlier or work over the weekend to get everything done. It’s a short-term sacrifice for a larger goal. If you have interviews scheduled during the workday, defer projects that do not require collaboration to the weekend.
Manage your interview calendar to create white space for preparing and reflecting on interviews and compensation package negotiations and writing thoughtful follow-up notes.
3) Increase your collaboration
There is truth to the adage, “Many hands make light work.”
Becoming more collaborative will help you delegate some work to others while taking on tasks in your areas of expertise. Both make you more efficient and visible and reinforce your continuing engagement with the team. Redirect the time you recapture toward your job search.
4) Use your PTO strategically
Managing multiple back-to-back interviews is stressful. It’s even more stressful when you’re toggling back and forth between interviewing and working. Using some of your paid time off days for the important interviews can help- a lot.
If you’re going through all the trouble to look for a new job, you owe it to yourself and the process to be clear and focused so you can listen effectively, ask the right questions and determine if the new position is a good fit.
Just as you always want to make a great first impression, you also want to leave a great last impression.
Staying productive and positive in your current role while allocating the time and mental bandwidth to the interview process will help you do both.
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You can also check out Forbes.com/CFO blog where I write about communicating with and motivating teams.