3-6 Months

A friend has been on the fence about changing jobs. Things at her current place are good, but she's also wondered if she's just grown too comfortable and has been stagnating. She's been told her role will grow in a few months - but it's the second time she's been told this. There were valid reasons why it hasn't happened sooner, but she feels like her career is on pause while she waits. She's not in the driver's seat.

I've been there many times myself. And I'll offer a healthy reminder for anyone in a similar spot: remember it can take 3-6 months to find your next role. Even if the market is hot right now, it's better to plan 6 months out because, ultimately, if you change jobs you want to make sure it's the right job for you. 6 months is a long time for things to happen. (Similarly, if you're a manager and someone has resigned, you should be asking what happened 6 months ago, not just the last month or two.)

Even in the fastest cases, you could be looking at 1.5 months: a week to update your resume, a week to apply, then you get call backs, another week for the initial interview, another week for the decision, a week for onboarding paperwork/background checks, etc.

It's a tricky game because maybe you're happy with your current job, you like the people, they know your strengths and ambitions, they know where you want to be in the next 3-6 months... but what if it doesn't happen? And worse, what if you've fallen behind the curve, and need to ramp up because you're not as externally employable as you are internally?

Looking for a job is like getting weighed at the doctor's office or looking at your retirement plan... It's uncomfortable, it's anxiety inducing, it's probably not the news you want either but it's the all important first step to getting where you want to be.

And maybe in that time, as you pursue roles you find out that where you are now is better, the opportunities materialize, there is the chance to grow how you want - but now you're also empowered with knowing how you need to grow to get back ahead of the curve.

You're back in the driver's seat.

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