John Hadley's Career Accelerator Blog
Seek Answers to Your Career / Career Search Challenges

January 2009
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When & How To Resign
Filed under: Salary, Career, Negotiation
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:40 pm

“I started two years ago as a temp to hire with the belief that my salary would increase when I became full time. It did not and I was already into the position for months, and made the decision to stay because when my review would come then my salary would increase. It did, about 30 cents. Also, I have had enough with bad communication with senior management. I have a good work ethic and do not believe in quitting until another opportunity is available. However, I am looking to go into work tomorrow with my resignation letter in hand. Any advice would be appreciated.”

There is nothing wrong with quitting without another opportunity lined up, as long as you have the financial resources to afford it.  Looking for a job is much easier when you can do it full time, and are free to meet with people for networking meetings and interivews during the day without needing to request time off from work.
Even though you feel like you have not been treated well at your current employer, you need to put that aside.  Leave on a positive note, without burning any bridges.  You never know when you might run into some of these people again, and you want every potential hiring manager to see you as a true professional, not someone who says negative things about people / companies they’ve worked with before.
Next time, don’t simply hope your salary will increase.  Sit down and make a list of what you’ve accomplished in your job, and what results that produced for your employer.  Try to quantify those results.  And look at what your job pays in the market.  Then approach your boss about how much you look forward to continuing to produce results like those, and could you talk about an increase in compensation to reflect the contributions you are making and expect to make in the future.
Access The Hidden Job Market
Filed under: General, Networking
Posted by: John Hadley @ 4:00 pm

I’m often asked how to access the “hidden” job market. The keys…

Make sure that:

  1. You can describe clearly your ‘package’, NOT the jobs you’ve held, duties you’ve performed, types of experience you bring to the table, but the ‘benefits’, the results you can produce and the challenges you can help a prospective employer solve.
  2. You meet with as many people 1-on-1 as you can, making sure to present clearly your ‘package’ and where you want to be headed.
  3. You brainstorm with them to find others you can meet with, to build a strong spiderweb of contacts that begins to ‘catch’ openings for you.
One mistake job seekers commonly make is to ask those contacts about openings. If you do a good job with the steps above, you should never have to ask about openings. When you get a contact excited about the package you have to offer, so that they clearly understand what might interest you and the results you have to offer in that area, they will volunteer openings they know of. On the other hand, if you press that point yourself, you will be much less likely to get the referrals you seek, because:

  • I’m concerned you will press the same way with the referrals, and I don’t want to risk my own connections.
  • The focus of the meeting shifts to “help you find a job”, so that I’m less likely to share contacts who I don’t think have openings. (And since we’re talking about the ‘hidden’ job market, jobs that haven’t been posted or widely published, how will I know about the ‘hidden’ opportunities that contact might have or be thinking about creating?)
  • My own experience is that every job I’ve ever had came from networking, and some of them were already filled or did not exist. In fact, I had a very successful systems consulting practice that arose from a casual conversation with someone I’d never met, at a conference in Montreal. I gave my simple ‘pitch’, and he said “would you like a consulting assignment?” 2 weeks later, I had a 6 figure consulting practice.

    For more on accessing the ‘hidden job market’, check out these articles:

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