Jun 20, 2023 — 3 min read

How to make the move

Words: Sam Lindsay

When it comes to your professional world, it's important you consider all of the employment options at your disposal. Read on to find how best to position yourself, recognise good employers, maximise interest, protect privacy, negotiate a wicked package and walk away with a dream result.

Make the call

"Let it sink in for a few days, is it still the right call? If so, take action."

Is now the right time to make a move? There are always a hundred contextual questions you could ask yourself here, and do. It is important that you do this for the right reasons, and those reasons will differ from person to person. The most common ones are time of year, culture, progression, promotion or pay rise, change in family/personal circumstances, location or simply when a great opportunity comes knocking. If you have someone you trust, discuss it with them, see different angles and challenge your own thinking. Once you are set, let it sink in for a few days, is it still the right call? If so, take action.

Create some buzz

When it comes to your profile, you are the best representation of it. The better you are technically at your craft, and when people can attest to it, the stronger the position you will be in. Knowing your craft is one thing, but having self-awareness to your development areas is another. Remember, no one likes a know-it-all and you're either green and growing or ripe and rotting, and prospective employers will respect that.

When it comes to your resume and cover letter, less is more. Include relevant, punchy information about your employment history, education and interests. Never include actual references, just a reference to them being made available on request and never talk negatively about a previous or current workplace.

Due Diligence

Do some googling, scroll through LinkedIn. Which Firms / companies practice the kind of work you want to do? Which experts or practitioners are the ones you could see yourself learning from? If you have had a few positive experiences across from a senior mentor from another outfit, remember those. What does each team like and do you know anyone in there already, and what do they say about the place? Another great way to learn first-hand is from people that have previously worked at the place you are considering.

Due diligence goes both ways. Assume the company, Government body, local council or Firm will be doing their own background, tapping into their networks to check the authenticity of your application. Before you launch, make sure this is tidy.

Approach the market

Together with your Agent, formulate a plan during your Consultant interview and follow up phase. Perhaps a list of preferred places, followed by a secondary list, keep it to that for now. Make sure you discuss places you definitely don't want to work, just to be crystal clear of where your CV should not go.

Depending on your current employment status, it is important to protect it if you are gainfully employed. Utilising the network of your agent could mean approaching one or all of your list and describing the idea of you. If they are keen to take it further, you can decide to release your CV.

Meet and greet

Here is where all the due diligence from earlier comes in handy. Going into various interview settings, could be a coffee or a sit-down in the boardroom, knowing who you are meeting, their history and practice area, and even hobbies are useful things to know. Being able to relate to your interviewer will earn points, create a momentary example of workplace vibe and gives them an idea of moving forward or not.

But here is where job-seekers often fall short. Because interviewing does not always come naturally, some people can freeze, forget to ask pertinent questions or give the wrong impression. Practice makes perfect. Seize the moment and ask all the questions you have, so that when the time comes to make a decision, you are comparing apples with apples.

Compare apples to apples

If multiple parties are interested, the candidate can find themselves in a strong position. Asking yourself questions like "which culture sounds the best" or "where am I going to grow most" or "how can I advance my career best" will often lead to a good decision.

Meeting more members of the workplace will always give you a feel for the environment because after all, most workplaces will describe themselves in the same way. Searching online and asking colleagues friends and ex-employees will also bring more clarity to the picture.

Negotiate hard, but know the limits

From all that preparation earlier, salary discussions and positioning with the client should be left to the Agent. Having already covered desired salary levels, the Agent can steer the client toward an acceptable first offer and package with all the bells and whistles.

If there is another opportunity of the table, it may not be so easy. If the candidate's current workplace want to keep them, there could be a counter-offer situation. This can often lead to offers being increased and where candidates can make more cash by moving workplaces. You need to zoom out if this happens and look at motives from both sides.

Decision time

Having made it this far, now is the time to hold your nerve. If you are looking at one offer or multiple, get an idea of when each opportunity requires a decision and prioritise some thinking time that can help guide your decision-making. Weighing up pro's and con's can be a good exercise, as can revisiting your original motives for wanting to look at the market.

if you have external-type mentor figures in your life, consult them. Give them the bigger picture to start with and then give the detail about how the current situation plays out into it. Gain clarity and make a decision, then let it simmer for a few days and ask yourself how you're feeling about it. If positive, chances are that's the right move but if there are hesitations or doubts, revisit your drivers.

Sign the deal, go celebrate

Take time to celebrate

Here's the fun part. Double-check that everything in the IEA (or similar contract) accurately reflects everything discussed in the negotiations. If there's something amiss, flag it and fix it. Once you turn in your executed agreements and take care of any additional administration, its party time, congratulations.