Last week I wrote a blog about not ‘rage quitting’ your job, so thought I’d follow up with some thoughts about what to do when you want to change your job but the market is quiet for the time being.

Over the last couple of months I’ve fielded loads of enquiries from candidates looking for that next move, but finding the roles they are after are currently scarce. Typically, all these candidates I’ve talked to fall into one or more of the following criteria:

  • Feel they’ve reached their ceiling and no prospects of further advancement
  • They see themselves in an organisation that's dated and not moving with the times
  • No opportunity to learn new skills and keep up with industry developments
  • No chance of a pay increase, and/or being paid below their responsibilities
  • Frustrations with management or co-workers
  • Not feeling challenged, and just bored, going through the motions

If you’ve ticked more than one of the above boxes you certainly need to take action – and bear in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean doing anything drastic, but you need to start making some plans and checklists. Again, this is not a ‘one size fits all approach’ just some suggestions:

Update your CV with your accomplishments and responsibilities – this alone builds your confidence and puts some perspective on what you’ve achieved so far. It’s easy to get caught in the day-to-day rut and not look at the big picture.

Be proactive – instead of grumbling to co-workers, see if you can create a time to talk with your manager about learning new skills or taking on more responsibility. Come to them with some ideas. This shows you’re taking some initiative and ambition – a short course you might have seen advertised, or maybe picking up some new tasks that can challenge and stretch you. Even if you don’t receive any extra remuneration – at least your skills will be developing - again, thinking big picture.

Talk to your recruiter about the market and what you might need to upskill in – this ties into the above. 

Research - do your own research as well. Follow companies you might want to work with on social media. Get the vibe of their culture, values and direction. Get excited about the industry. Learn who are the best in that field, and also learn who the new players are.

Stay positive (1) - if you cannot resolve your frustration with management or a coworker - this is going to be tough, but look at the end goal. If you're now planning to leave, consider that you may want a future reference from your current boss - and the attitude in which you conduct yourself in the last few months will certainly be remembered. Protect your own brand.

Stay positive (2) - it might be a while before the opportunities come in, so if you even if you can’t manage to develop professionally in that time, look at things you can do outside work to challenge yourself - this way you are still growing, learning and achieving as you go. This can be anything from a new hobby, skill or exercise - anything.

Who knows, you just might find one of your new hobbies could turn into a passion and then one day into a new career you didn’t expect!