GNcareers, from Gulf News

Tips on narrowing the time lapse between jobs

Tips on narrowing the time lapse between jobsImage Credit: Supplied

Not many choose to quit a good job and go unemployed voluntarily. But some life situations can force you to do so.

For example, as many UAE expatriates may foresee, a decision to return to one's home country may mean taking the risk of making the move to find a job ahead. Similarly, trailing a spouse's relocation can lead to the same outcome.

Making this decision in itself can be intimidating, especially for those who haven't been in the job market recently. News of companies still being cautious when it comes to hiring and economies not picking up as desired may make the prospect of finding a job quickly seem elusive. But it doesn't really have to be that way.

If your decision to quit your current job is based on reasons that are worthwhile, taking the risk can be tolerable as long as you handle it right, and have the patience and dedication necessary during the transition time. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you plan to quit your job without having another job offer in hand:

Don't panic

It is normal to first feel liberated and excited about all the sudden availability of time and leisure on becoming unemployed. Be prepared not to panic, however. Although the job market in many places around the world hasn't picked up significantly since the recession, your focus during your early weeks of job hunting is invaluable. This is the time when you still can reach out to your previous contacts — in the local market — to let them know that you've moved on and plant a seed about being available.

In addition, this is the time when your ability to land another job quickly can bridge the change and make it appear a normal transition from one gig to another. That is why it is important to keep cool, stay professional and hit the job market immediately. That is not to say that you should completely overlook your feelings, but don't let them get in the way of you moving on.

Understand the new market

Whether you're returning to your home country or relocating with a spouse to a new destination, you must understand the local market. Don't apply your knowledge from the UAE or a previous location to your new place. Cut the process short by asking your local industry contacts about the best ways and places to get a job.

If you don't have any contacts, hit the online forums and boards to get answers to this critical question. For example, you may find newspaper classifieds are the most common destination for employer ads, or certain online job boards or even recruitment agencies. The point is, you need to be where the employers are.

Your local market knowledge should expand to understanding what types of certification or experience required by employers. Again, don't assume what was sufficient in one market will be in your destination.

Take the opportunity

Although many may be eager to get back to work as soon as possible to avoid any loss of income and career gaps, this change can be a good opportunity to make the move to a job that you like.

It is not uncommon for people to settle in jobs — and even careers — for longer than they need to just because of getting used to them. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, rethink your direction and try to get back on a track that fulfils your ambitions, professionally and personally.

If you're already satisfied with your career and direction, take this opportunity to build on your success and ensure that your new job isn't an act of desperation. Instead, make it a natural transition into the first phase of your career.

Be flexible

Conquering a new job market can be a daunting mission. That is why it may take some flexibility at your end in terms of selecting a job that agrees with you, but also matches your experience.

Insisting on a particular position, title or compensation at this stage may be unrealistic. And your flexibility can pay off quickly. The bottom-line: If you like a job, get your foot in the door and work your way up and forward from there.

New market challenges

* Get moving quickly finding a job

* Learn the rules of the games

* Work to fulfil your professional development

* Take the job you like and grow in it

Learn how to plot your next upward mobility

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to

The writer is a former Gulf News Business Features Editor and is a Seattle-based editor