A post by Patra Frame, ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Strategist.
Once it seemed so far away and so full of tough choices that it was easy to postpone decisions. But here your BRAC changes still are and the deadlines approach. What now?
Step 1. What are you actually facing?
Great job, moving to a distant location – quite different choices from a mediocre job moving far away. Retirement vs job loss, again very different choices.
So you need to think in terms of what your current reality is and what options you actually have. This clarity can be enhanced if you think in terms of your long-range career goals.
Whether you make a list or do a mind-map or create a journal, do list all your possibilities. Don’t rush through this step, as many people do to their later chagrin. Don’t sort the good from the bad ideas – get them all visible. Ask trusted others for ideas and input, sometimes we miss good options because we did not see them.
Then make a decision chart – what is really critical to you? Some choices might be the actual work, commuting distance or public transportation availability, impact on specific future career goals, family needs.
Once you have a range of ideas and your decision chart, you can begin to evaluate your options.
Step 2. Connect with Other People
Expand your network – reconnect with past colleagues, take current ones out for coffee, and enhance your connections in professional and community organizations. These connections can help you learn more about your options and provide realistic information to achieve your goals. If you elect to look for a new job within your current organization or externally, it is your network that is most critical to successful job changing.
Step 3. Create a Plan
Develop an action plan. Get past your ‘ought to’s’ or flailing around the web. Take your options and goals and decide how to achieve them.
What are you going to do? Your choices might involve retirement or leaving your current employer or moving. These are all major decisions which demand immediate planning and have lots of steps to success. On a smaller scale, you might be facing buying another car for the new commute or managing some combination of more telecommuting and job search within your current employer’s other operations.
Setting up a plan with concrete steps and a timeline make achieving your goals far more likely. Ensure that you also recognize your success at each milestone. These steps are necessary to successfully reaching your goals within the BRAC timeframe you face. The plan also allows you to feel more in control. Just be sure you move your plan from ideas to reality by executing it!
Step 4. Job Search
If you need to look for a new position outside your current employer, start your job search now!
Federal positions in other agencies may be a good option if you are already a civil servant but these too require good research and are often a rather slow process.
Prime hiring season for government contractors is in full swing but many slow hiring during the summer as they await the new fiscal year’s budget.
If you are looking outside of government contracting, the timing is not as sensitive to the federal budget process but the options may be more limited.
To jumpstart your search, see this video. We will continue offering job search tips on the blog, but take a little time to look through our past blog posts for such tips now. And we have an extensive series of videos from hiring managers, recruiters, and others to help you. Start with this one.