The Five Things To Remember Before You Change
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The Five Things To Remember Before You Change



Whether you are currently unemployed, underemployed, or seeking a change, these are the essential points to consider before your make your next job move.

Whether you are currently unemployed, underemployed, or seeking a change, these are the essential points to consider before your make your next job move.



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  • I’ve been asked to speak on “the Five Things to Remember Before You Change Jobs”. In this “down economy” I am guessing that many of you don’t have the luxury. Don’t fear! What I’ll be discussing is equally applicable to the employed and to those who wish to be employed and the under employed. I want to assure you that I have, at one time or another in my career, have been all three! Thus what I’ll be focusing on are some tools and techniques that I hope you’ll find useful regardless of your employment status.
  • Does this sound familiar? These are the what may be the all-to-familiar process that the typical job seeker goes through. It’s burdensome, cumbersome, and doesn’t assure that we’ll be necessarily land in a job that we’re happy with. You may think of it as taking a cold shower: it’s unpleasant to endure but great when it’s over!
  • Before we dive right in to the “Five Things”, let’s explore some models that seem to drive a worker’s job search. I’ll use the term worker to describe a person who is either currently employed or who desires to be employed. And we’ll stretch the definition of employed to mean either full-time, or part time. Either self-employed or working for someone else. Either drawing a salary or working pro-bono or as a volunteer. The key attribute is to be working in an occupation that is in alignment with and fulfills your personal mission (more on that later).Let’s look at what I’ll describe as “The Two Year Itch”Start a honeymoon that lasts anywhere from 3 mos to 3 yearsRealize that some point during year 2 that the job was just what you were looking for, or start developing that vague sense of dissatisfaction Start the job search all over again (go to slide 2)The trouble with this model is that is passive. In other words, it does not help lead you to a better job; it just funnels you back to the corkscrew!
  • I’d like to present and for you to consider an alternative model. There’s a natural rhythm that propels much of our work lives through four stages, like the four seasons. If we consider that at any point during our career we are in one of four stages and moving toward the next, we can have a very different approach to changing jobs.
  • Sowing. Similar to Spring. We’re in this season when we’ve just entered the workforce but also when we switch careers. It is characterized by rapid growth and learning, infatuation with the job, and a high tolerance for frustration.
  • Cultivating. We know we’re in this stage when we feel we’re well on the way to mastering the job, we’ve made personal, and life choice sacrifices for the job, and we’re working by any definition, rather hard.
  • Abundance. With persistence, hard work, and a little luck, we’ll make it to the season of Abundance. This is characterized by utilizing the full power of our knowledge and experience. We recognize that we’re in the stage when others consider us to be “master craftsmen” in whom we are trusted to get the job done. We’re considered a source of wisdom and experience. If we’re in an organization that recognizes our value, we feel content and satisfied; on the other hand if we are misaligned with the organizations vision or purpose we may feel restless and dissatisfied.
  • Inevitably, we will find ourselves in a period of apparent scarcity in which our careers appear dormant. We recognize this period when we feel underutilized with fewer demands placed on us. This might be following a reorganization, or a lay-off. The important thing to remember is that this is an excellent time for reflection and regrouping. It’s important to recognize that just as spring follows winter, we’ll eventually return to a more productive stage: sowing.
  • While we’ve presented these stages as distinct, with one inexorably following the other, in reality we might experience an usually short harvest or a mini dormancy smack in the middle of our season of abundance. Also, unusual events might trigger “resetting” the cycle.
  • This evening we’re going to look at “The Five Things to Remember before You Change Jobs”. Prerequisite is that you have developed a Personal Mission statement, describing your fundamental purpose and how you desire to achieve your goals
  • If you are at the point where you can identify objectives to fulfilling your mission, great as you are ahead of the game. Some of my objectives are (see above)Use SMART Format, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound
  • Prior to considering your next move, you’ll want to consider what your motivation drivers are. These will help you to identify what’s important to you.Maslow – People have a layer of needs (see next slide)Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene Theory – Classifies motivation factors into two categories: Hygiene and Motivation. Hygiene factors are necessary but insufficient for motivation; they don’t bring satisfaction, but prevent dissatisfaction (e.g. compensation, policies). Motivation factors do increase job satisfaction, e.g. challenging work assignmentsMcClelland's – Three needs motivate people (1) Achievement, (2) Affiliation, and (3) Power.Above descriptions courtesy of PMP In Depth, Second Edition, Sanghera, pp279-280
  • We don’t have time to explore the various motivation theories. You can find a good overview in many of the excellent PMP preparation textbooks such as the CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification exam guide by Joseph Phillips.An understanding of your personality type via an Myers-Briggs or similar evaluation will also be helpful in understanding what makes you tick and what sort of environment you would thrive best inNow for the Five Things……
  • An understanding of your personality type via an Myers-Briggs or similar evaluation will also be helpful in understanding what makes you tick and what sort of environment you would thrive best inNow for the Five Things……
  • Be sure to identify all the lesser-known benefits, etc. vision care, prescription drug, health clubs, dental, disability, life insurance, legal-protection plansWhen doing a CBA, consider the time-value of money, e.g.. a lower initial salary with a better mobility to a higher-value job is worth more than a higher salary now with nominal annual increases
  • Weaknesses; consider them growth areas
  • Let’s tie together the Job Stage discussion withThe Five Things. Using this tool helps you consider the Five Questions in the context of the Job Stage that you are currently in. While many of the stages share the same drivers, there are some subtle differences.For example, #4 Cost-benefit drivers are likely to be The Benefits Vesting Level in Sowing and Reaping but you might consider whether your financial needs have changed once your are in Abundance therefore offering you more flexibility in making your decision.Note. These drivers a general-case; you might well have different or several drivers in each cell of the table.
  • SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound
  • PM Tools you might consider: Cost Benefit Analysis, Present Value/Time Value of Money, Risk Analysis, Decision Tree Diagrams

The Five Things To Remember Before You Change Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Five Things to Remember Before You Change Jobs
    Andrew P. Valenti MSc., PMP
    PMI Mass Bay Career Clinic
    March 3rd, 2011
  • 2. The Job Search Corkscrew
  • 3. The Two Year Itch
  • 4. The Job Stage Cycle
  • 5. The Job Stage Cycle
  • 6. The Job Stage Cycle
  • 7. The Job Stage Cycle
  • 8. The Job Stage Cycle
  • 9. What Can “Reset” The Cycle?
    Attempting to skip a stage
    Sudden life changes, e.g. health, marriage
    Seismic shifts in the economy/job market
    Personal choices
    Loss of job
  • 10. The Personal Mission Statement
    A personalmission statement is a formal, short, written statement of the purpose of an individual. The mission statement should guide the actions of the individual, spell out his or her overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making.
  • 11. My Personal Mission Statement
    To be a “scholar-practitioner” in educational technology, creating value for the global business community through original research on how international students learn business management concepts which will inform the next generation of teaching, learning, & collaboration platforms.
  • 12. My Personal Objectives
    Obtain a full-time job higher education,
    Select a doctoral program that will support my intended area of research
    Figure out how to fund the career transition/degree program
    Obtain technology based project management appointments,
    Receive regular teaching appointments in higher education,
    Maintain PMP certification,
    Become knowledgeable in several learning management systems platforms, etc.
  • 13. Know What Motivates You!
    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,
    Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation
    McClelland’s Theory of Needs
  • 14. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • 15. Herzberg’s Motivation Theory
  • 16. #5- Research the Environmental Factors
    Cultural and Social
    Organizational Structure
    Employee Profiles
    Technical Environment
    Talk to current and former employees
    Check social networks
    Poke around the Web for commentary but take all company criticism with a grain of salt
  • 17. #4 – What is the Cost-Benefit?
    • By taking this job, what am I giving up?
    • 18. What about retirement, defined-contribution and other benefits with a vesting period?
    • 19. What is the true cost of vacation, sick-leave, personal and company holidays?
    • 20. How do the health benefits compare?
    • 21. Consider the time value of money
  • #3 – Don’t Be Desperate for Change!
    Beware of the “Grass is Greener” syndrome
    Consider the people you’ll be working with; you might be there for a long time
    Remember that the honeymoon will inevitably end
  • 22. # 2 – Consider the Strategic Fit
    • Does the job support my personal mission?
    • 23. Perform a “fit gap-analysis” against objectives
    • 24. Consider your time horizon: 1, 3, 5 yrs
  • #1 – Are All Internal Opportunities Exhausted?
    • Explore your objectives with your boss
    • 25. Consider asking for an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses
    • 26. Craft your job to meet your objectives/skills
  • Drivers by Job Stage
  • 27. Key Points
    Start with a Personal Mission Statement
    Create Personal Objectives (use SMART)
    Know What Motivates You
    Consider a personality sorter such as Meyers-Briggs
  • 28. Key Points
    Identify Which Life-Stage You are In
    Consider the Five Things
    Identify what drives your job decision at each life stage
    Consider job search a Project!
    Use your PM Processes and tools