There is no right or wrong time to start looking for a new job.  The best time to start looking is when you are ready – once you have been over the financial considerations and personal impact and are ready to put in the effort to find those greener pastures.

Of course, starting to look isn’t always the first step to finding a new job – ideally you should always be open to change. This doesn’t mean actively job hunting and sending CVs. You can ‘passively’ search for jobs through an up to date LinkedIn profile and a willingness to engage with recruiters online.

So whether you are actively looking, or just ‘not ruling anything out’ what are the key factors in changing your career?

Put in the time

You must be prepared to devote time to the process. Job searching, updating social profiles and making applications is hard work. You will need to be available to receive calls during the work day and juggle getting time off work. You really need to be conscious about the time you need to invest when starting the process.

Talk to a recruiter

Without making a sales pitch, it is worth engaging the services of a good recruiter. Having a recruiter on board will give you a little more access to the open roles that are really out there. Recruiters also talk directly to hiring managers so they will have a unique understanding of the personality requirements for every role and can help you to find your perfect fit.

Work on your CV

Make sure you have a strong CV – don’t just fire off a list of duties or previous titles. Create a strong, broad CV as a starting point and make sure that you adapt and customise it to fit each application you make. Your recruiter can offer some good advice on this too.

Update your online presence

Make sure your LinkedIn profile up to date, this is increasingly becoming the first point of contact or screening point for most prospective employers. Also, you should have a look at your profile on social media in general Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. – personality and culture fit are just as important as skills fit to many employers so these will affect hiring decisions.

Remember your job search is about you

Don’t discuss your job search or thoughts of moving on with your co-workers. You really need to be focused on yourself and, no matter how well-meaning they are, you don’t want colleagues’ opinions clouding your judgement.

Don’t get sidetracked

You need to stay 100% focused on your current job, no matter how close you get to a new role. Hiring decisions can change at the very last minute, so you need to be prepared to stay a little longer and make sure that your current targets don’t suffer.

It can be hard to know how and when to start your job search and taking the first step can be intimidating. However, you’re starting a journey that will ultimately bring you career happiness and that’s worth the investment. Taking these steps into account will help reduce the stress involved and help you find a job you love.

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