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Avoiding distractions while on a job search

Avoiding distractions while on a job searchImage Credit: Supplied

Timing is critical when looking for a job. If trying to find a new job at the wrong time for you, professionally or even personally, you may be losing out on good opportunities with employers who would otherwise have hired if the timing was right.

A good timing for a job search is when you are professionally ready to make the change, the current employer won't be left high and dry, and you're emotionally and mentally ready for what job hunting entails. All of these areas are equally critical, and if you miss out on one or the other, you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to secure job interviews or get excluded from the process pretty early.

With that in mind, be realistic about not only about why you need a new job, but also whether a job-hunting process at this time will be fulfilling. If it is an additional burden or turns into a frustrating process of handling rejection letters, it may be better to just wait until the circumstances change.

Here are the two areas that one must look at closely before embarking on an extensive job hunt.

Time to change jobs

If looking at new opportunities, you probably feel the urge to change jobs. This could be triggered by a challenging job, a conflict in the workplace or a temptation to try something new. All of this could be good if one is at a stage of the career when a new job looks good on the resume.

So start by taking a good look at the recent jobs. Have you changed jobs frequently? Do you have any long-term ones that show you do seek stability and professional advancement? If your jobs are all under two years of employment, think twice before adding one more short-term job. It simply doesn't look good.

In addition, think about your employer. How much inconvenience will your departure cause? In addition, have you just accepted a promotion, a new role or a pay raise? If you have, it may be a good gesture to delay a departure. Employers invest in employees who appear to be assets to the company. If you've just received such an investment, don't let the employer regret it.

Finally, take a good look at the industry itself. If thinking of changing jobs at a time where the industry isn't stable, you may be taking too much of a risk. Having some institutional experience with your employer can shield the job if the market gets rocky and layoffs begin.

Being a new hire somewhere else doesn't. In addition, you may not be fully aware of the stability of the new employer, which is again an added risk.

Personal matters

Starting the job search at the wrong time personally isn't a good move. For example, if going through family issues or financial problems, the focus and energy may be channelled toward sorting out these areas. In addition, the last thing you need to add to your burden is another energy-intensive process like job hunting.

Another risk that comes along with facing an interviewing opportunity while handling significant personal matters is to appear distracted or uninterested. In many cases, whether these matters are positive or negative, they may be too demanding that you forget to follow up appropriately, do a full research on the employer or simply appear unprepared.

In short, if preparing for a wedding, grieving the loss of a family member or dealing with a massive debt problem, this is not a good time to change jobs and go through the interviews.

Still you know yourself better than anyone else. Some people are able to compartmentalise life and work, and handle both efficiently even through stressful times. So be realistic about what you can tackle and what you cannot, without overwhelming yourself.

Time the job hunting right

- Consider your overall resume.

- Show respect to your employer.

- Avoid stressful personal times.

- Be ready to invest time and effort.

Get a closer look at the pay scale needed

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to

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