Thinking about making a career move? Here are the key things to consider

Posted on 11 Apr 2023 by The Manufacturer

Have you ever felt that you needed a new career challenge, but weren’t sure where to start? If so, you are not alone. Every year, thousands of professionals change jobs in the hopes of finding not only extra financial remuneration, but also more fulfilment, better work-life balance, and much more. Lauren Wise, Managing Consultant, Michael Page Engineering and Manufacturing, explains.

As a part of the Michael Page Manufacturing, I specialise in recruiting leadership professionals for engineering and manufacturing businesses across Yorkshire. Speaking with manufacturing leaders every day, I have learned first-hand just how difficult navigating the job market is. Job titles can be ambiguous, salaries are not always disclosed, and you can’t always get a feel for a company or a role based solely on a 300-word job advert.

Whilst renumeration is key, there are many other factors to consider when deciding on a new role. But all too often, candidates don’t thoroughly investigate them until later in a recruitment process, when you’ve already invested time in researching the company, attending interviews, and potentially even preparing presentations.

That’s why I’d like to share my top-tips for what to consider when looking for a new role, so that you can save time and hopefully land that perfect role first time around.

Step 1: Decide what you’re looking for

It can be surprisingly difficult to nail down exactly what you’re looking for in a new role – and even whether you need to move at all.

The first thing to do is decide what could be improved in your current circumstances, whether it’s a higher salary, a more senior role, or additional training. These opportunities may even already be available at your current employer, and it’s worth asking for them. Requesting a pay rise or a promotion isn’t easy, but it’s a conversation your boss would probably rather have now than after you’ve handed in your notice!

If after these conversations you’ve decided that the right opportunity is not available with your existing company, then it’s onto Step 2, and how to find that perfect job.

Step 2: Take a targeted approach 

Think about where you see yourself in two, five, and even ten years. What do you want out of your career in the longer term, and what roles could get you there? There is rarely only one path to your ideal career destination, so be sure to consider the options you’d be open to and investigate roles in  that space.

Secondly, consider the minimum salary and maximum commute you’d be happy with, and don’t engage with opportunities outside of these guidelines. The role itself might be great, but if it doesn’t allow you to afford your lifestyle, then it won’t work for you. However, think realistically about your expectations, as sometimes a role with a lower salary but a shorter commute could be just as suitable.

Next, carefully select the sort of roles, companies, and industries you’re interested in. Don’t send your CV to every role in the salary range and commuting distance you’ve decided you’re happy with. Instead, take the time to pinpoint opportunities you’re passionate about.

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Step 3: What to say in an interview 

It might be tempting to say what the interviewer wants to hear, but in this situation, honesty is the best policy. Many of the candidates we talk to are looking for something new because their current role isn’t what they thought it would be. If the interviewer is honest about the opportunity and the interviewee is transparent about what they’re looking for, then neither party should be going through the recruitment process again in three-to-six months.

It’s also important to remember that an interview is a two-way street. Make sure you seem interested in the company and role, but feel free to also ask questions about the company’s approach on things that matter to you.

Step 4: You’ve got the offer!  Now what?

If you’ve followed Steps 1-3 and have been honest with yourself, your prospective employer, and any recruitment agents involved, then this is the easy part.

Any offer you receive ought to match the discussions you’ve had throughout the process, so there shouldn’t be too much to consider. However, you don’t want to rush this decision. So, up until this point, have conversations with family and friends about how you’d feel if the offer came your way. This will make you feel confident in your decision, regardless of whether it is an acceptance or a rejection.

Once you’ve accepted an offer, the next stage will likely be to hand in your notice. This isn’t always easy; your current company may even make a counteroffer to get you to stay. But if you’ve had the conversations mentioned in Step 1, then it shouldn’t matter whether they offer more money, a relocation, or a promotion. If it took your resignation for your employer to make these offers, then accepting them probably won’t be the right move in the long run. It’s also worth noting that most candidates who accept counteroffers normally restart their job search within six months.

Of course, sometimes you’ll go through an interview process and feel like the perfect fit for the job, but won’t receive an offer. Naturally you’ll be disappointed – but try to use this as a development opportunity. Understand why you weren’t offered the role and take the learning forward.

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It can be surprisingly difficult to nail down exactly what you’re looking for in a new role – and even whether you need to move at all

Maintaining career satisfaction

When it comes to maintaining career satisfaction  for the long term, my advice would be to evaluate what you enjoy about your role, and what you don’t. Don’t hesitate to have an open conversation with your employer about measures to improve your engagement, and how this will benefit the company too. Nobody goes to work to do a bad job, so find what makes you happy and be good at it!

Interested in finding your next opportunity?

Michael Page Manufacturing specialise in connecting professionals across manufacturing, engineering, procurement, and supply chain with top employers. If you are looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch with me on the details below or contact our team.

Lauren Wise, Managing Consultant, Michael Page Engineering and Manufacturing

E: [email protected]

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