In November 2018, I decided to get a new job. 7 months later, after 1 test and 11 interviews across 4 organizations, I has 3 distinct offers on the table from 3 of the 4 companies across 3 industries; technology, telecoms and consumer goods. With the 4th company, I made it to the final stage but didn’t get selected however, I walked away with a partnership for a volunteer organization I work with.
Sounds amazing right? Let’s just say, I am one heavily favored girl and God gets ALL the glory for these open doors. The entire process was a very interesting cycle filled with excitement, mood swings, confusion, hard work, prayer sprinkled with fasting and loadsss of counsel.
There are quite a number of things I learnt from this experience that I would like to share with anyone who’s new to the workforce or looking to switch jobs. I made some mistakes along the way, looking back there where a lot of things that I could have handled better. So if you are a fresh graduate or looking to switch jobs or industries, please grab a seat. If you just want to be entertained or are curious to hear my lessons, you’re welcome to grab a seat too. clears throat
5 things to consider when Switching Jobs
- Why do you want to leave NOW?
In my case, I liked my job and organization, I had a really amazing and rewarding experience with them but I was getting a bit tired and I knew I needed change. Going by my (personal) learning and development plan, I desired to explore a different part of marketing and looking internally it was clear to me that I could not explore that aspect to the level I wanted within, so I decided to look outwards. Initially, my goal was to pivot to another industry all together (but this changed).
You need to be really clear on your “why” because with making a move like this will come lots of people asking you questions and trying to convince you to delay your move or not move all together.
You must have a point of view if not you will be like paper, tossed in every direction the wind is blowing. During this process, I learnt very quickly that people have strong opinions on a wide array of things including other people lives. If you do not pick a side, people will confuse you with their opinions and this is not okay because you are the one wearing the shoes of your job; you just cannot afford to be passive about it.
- What kind of environment enables you?
Are you moving to a place where you can thrive? Thriving and Struggling are two different things and only YOU truly knows when you are struggling and when you are thriving. To thrive means to grow, develop well and flourish. To struggle on the other hand means to strive to achieve something in the face of difficulty. I believe that a job should not be a struggle.
In my opinion whether or not your struggle depends 50% on your attitude to work and 50% on your environment not one or the other. Take the oil palm for example; even though all trees need soil to grow, the oil palm needs a special kind of soil; deep soil.
Also, the oil palm cannot thrive in dry climates; for it to thrive and produce to its full capacity, it needs to be in wet climates with lots of rainfall and minimal dry seasons. The oil palm is an “aje butter”; unlike other trees, rats and rodents can destroy it very quickly.
These peculiarities of the Oil palm do not make it a weak plant; it just means the oil palm is special and distinct. Not worse off than other seemingly more “resilient plants”, just different.
What enables you? What are the things you need? For me I came up with three things: exposure, lots of learning opportunities and room for growth. I discovered this about 4 months into my search so I ended up having to take back some Yes’s, and take extra care to mend bridges.
P.s being in an enabling environment wherein you can thrive does not mean you will not go through the normal cycles of growth! Oh, you cannot escape that. Just like seed you’ll have to go through silent seasons of being buried in the ground unnoticed by the world but soon enough under the right, soil and weather conditions you will spring forth.
- What kind of experience & skills will your next dream job/role require?
Alongside the grace of God, one of the reasons why these three organizations saw value in me and wanted me on their teams is the quality of experience and skills I have been able to build in the last few years. In deciding where to go next I needed to ensure the role I took up would enable me build on and further strengthen the skills I have to the highest degree possible. This is what led me to eventually decide on the organization to go to (after much confusion) lol.
Please make sure you think this through. What are your gaps? Which job/role will enable you close those gaps so you can move to the next level? “Hot cake” will eventually become cold if it does not remain exposed to heat. Careful not to get cold.
- What do your stakeholders think?
By stakeholders, I mean people you respect and trust to help you make smart decisions; people who genuinely have your best interest at heart. For me they include my parents, siblings, mentors and closest friends.
This experience opened my eyes wide to the wonderful gifts God has given me in my family and community! I did not realize I had so many uncles, aunties, big brothers and friends who care about me deeply and want me to succeed.
To begin with, all four opportunities actually came through referrals! (Whoosh!! I tear up writing this! How beautiful it is to have people who believe in you enough to put your forward for opportunities and stake their names for your cause) I’m tempted to list their names but I know they won’t really fancy a shout out so I’ll keep it quiet but please know I deeply appreciate you.
Interestingly, not one of my stakeholders ever dictated to me what to do; they only guided me through the process of figuring out what I wanted. I remember anytime I was going to approach them with a “decision” I had taken, I would have to think and outline my justification because they will ask why and a fluffy reason would never fly.
Who are the people who occupy these seats of counsel in your life?? Find them and engage them. As the bible says; in Prov 11:14 “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
P.s Please be authentic; don’t fall into the trap of trying to please your stakeholders by telling them what you think they want to hear. Be authentic and real; there is no right or wrong answer; there is just your answer.
- Who has the final say?
For me it’s God!! End of the day I esteem the leading of Jesus over all else so I would wait on him to give me a leading and follow through with it no matter how crazy it seemed. One particular offer I got was hard to turn down. Hard because it was my dream job y’know! However, the Lord said No and I had to obey. If you are a Christian, I encourage you to submit to the leading of God; he cannot and will not mismanage your life.
Overall, it was a lovely experience navigating these waters of decision-making. I personally think interviewing with multiple organizations is great as it opens you up to your worth, your strengths as well as gaps; at least it did for me.
P.s There is no perfect organization in itself, you bring the spice that makes it perfect for you so please do not expect too much from anywhere/anyone. Pay attention to yourself, listen to your gut and do what works best for you!
All my Love,