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Preparing for Your Next Job Move: 3 Essential Tips to Get Ahead

Heather N Bowen Pascual


  • Before switching jobs, consider your career and financial goals, research company culture and management, and evaluate the ethics and compliance departments.
  • Aim to find a work environment that values you and your contributions.
Preparing for Your Next Job Move: 3 Essential Tips to Get Ahead

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Switching jobs can be an exciting time, and you might be filled with eagerness to contribute to a new team, develop processes, implement systems, build relationships, and be recognized for your dedicated work and quality results. However, before you make the switch from one job to another, there are some important considerations you should keep in mind. Here, I share my three-step guide that will steer you as you move from resignation day to onboarding day.

1. Analyze Your Goals: Career and Financial

To make the leap from one path of employment to another, you must keep your responsibilities in check. You must ask yourself what you are looking for in the short-, medium-, and long-term progression of your career. Do you want to climb the corporate ladder? Do you prefer to serve the public interest? Do you want to teach as a professor?

Likewise, when you switch from one job opportunity to another, the new opportunity should still allow you to cover your monthly bills, accomplish your investing goals, navigate your retirement strategy, and implement risk management plans for your future self. And sure, while money isn’t everything, it is certainly the last thing you want to think about when you want to take your time transitioning from one job opportunity to the next.

2. Do Your Research: Company Culture and Management

When it comes to picking a work environment with good company culture and management, you must be hyperfocused. Many corporate law departments have a negative reputation for disparaging and overworking people of color, playing favorites, disrespecting boundaries, kissing up to the boss, yelling, and dealing in office politics and drama as the norm.

Seek information about the method of feedback and metrics for advancement used by an employer, as well as information about how they foster work-life balance. Investigate the company’s policies on diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure they are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for employees of all backgrounds. Also, consider evaluating the company’s approach to employee development and training, particularly whether they provide opportunities for professional growth and skill building. The lack of information in these areas may be a tell-tale sign that you need to evaluate the company culture and management style.

If your current work environment is not one that allows you to thrive, then you must consider for yourself what a healthy company culture would look like for you. In many cases, it is extremely difficult to decipher a healthy company culture during the interview process, as toxic managers are on their best behavior during this time. However, you can seek real and honest insight from departed employees about what it was really like to work under your potential manager, on the team, and within the company environment. Do as much research as you can because, as they say, people don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad managers.

3. Decipher Good vs. Evil: Human Resources, Compliance, and Ethics Departments

Remember that the company’s human resources, ethics, and compliance departments operate on and for the benefit of the company, not on behalf of the individual employee or contractor. During a transition period, when you are leaving or thinking about leaving a position, focus on holding yourself in good standing, building strong and lasting relationships with colleagues, doing great work, and maintaining a written record of everything you encounter. This is particularly important where your reasons for leaving a position might be based on misconduct from the employer.

At the end of the day, your goal is to get into a work environment where you feel valued for who you are and appreciated for what you contribute to your role. Only you can be your best advocate. To get ahead, you must analyze your goals, do your research, and decipher good vs. evil. From there, you’ll get the opportunities you seek to put your in-demand skills to work and gain the respect you truly deserve.