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HERC Career Blog

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Looking for a New Job

By Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
May 15, 2017
An illustration of a woman standing on a blank intersection sign looking out towards the clouds with a telescope.

Are you thinking about applying for a new job? You might simply be looking for a change of pace, or maybe you’re ready for more of a challenge. No matter your reasons for starting a job search, there are some things that you should think about before you print those resumes and prepare to give your two weeks’ notice. Before you start looking for a new job, here are some questions you should ask yourself.

Are There Any Opportunities You May Be Giving Up by Leaving?

Higher education institutions can differ greatly in their hiring practices. Some institutions may promote employees and hire for top positions from within. Other places might be interested in finding new talent for these positions. If the human resources department in your institution only considers candidates from within for the more prestigious positions, you might want to consider staying at your current role and working towards a promotion. Even if you you’re not completely satisfied with your current role, it could be worth staying for now, just to make sure you have every opportunity for success in the future. But if higher positions rarely open at your institution, it could be time to move on to greener pastures.

Are You Leaving Your Organization on Good Terms?

Because employers often require references from your past work experiences, it’s beneficial to have a good relationship with all past and present employers. If you’re not parting ways with your current organization on very friendly terms, it won’t be impossible but it will definitely be more difficult for you to secure a new job. At the very least, you may want to briefly delay your job search until you can develop a positive relationship with a coworker or manager that is able and willing to provide a great reference when needed.

What Are You Really Looking for in a New Job?

Everyone has different priorities when it comes to his or her professional life. Are you looking for an employer who shares your core values and beliefs? Or, are you simply looking for a position that better meets your financial goals? If you want more flexibility to work on independent projects and hobbies or to spend more time with your family and small children, it may be time to consider a work-from-home job. If more money is what you need, consider making a shift from teaching to administration. If you currently disagree with your current organization’s values, attend some meetups for educators and browse online groups. Interacting with these groups will help you find institutions that share your values and have employment opportunities.  

Before you start sending out applications and interviewing, figure out what you don’t love about your current job and what you want to be different about your next position. This will help you better approach your job search and target the right employers.

Switching jobs can be a great way to further your career. While opening a new chapter in your professional life might seem like the perfect decision, remember to think about opportunities you might be giving up, if you’re leaving your employer on good terms, and what you’re really looking for in switching roles.


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