I constantly meet with professionals who are desperate to leave their current job. They were happy and maybe not that long ago, but for whatever reason they have got to the point where the very thought of turning up to work makes them feel miserable.
When I meet with these people I question why it has taken them until now to start looking for a job? Desperation nearly always means people do not present themselves as well as they normally would. Without meaning to, they will often come across negatively, jaded, even a bit miserable which are all major turn offs to future employers. But even if they can act through it, when someone gets to this stage, they make poor decisions . Their standards and criteria drop dramatically. An average job can suddenly look great although in reality it is just a way out. This will inevitably mean that in a few months, when they are seeing life a bit rosier, they will realise that they have sold themselves short and will often end up leaving the new role quickly. Suddenly their CV is starting to look a bit messy.
If you are happy in your current job then the likelihood is that you won’t consider looking for another job any time soon and that is fine. You may stay with your present employer for another 10 years. However, things out of your control can impact your situation. Take the banking sector as a recent example. A lot bankers found themselves without a job very quickly, and let’s be honest, how many employees predicted that or saw it coming? All the banks were involved in retrenchment and cost cutting since last year.
Perhaps that is unlikely to happen again, but the most seemingly secure companies can wound up. Beyond stability, I have seen examples when new managers are bought in who have a different style, change the structure etc. Suddenly a happy and financially rewarding job becomes not so great anymore. It is dangerous to assume things will always remain the same.
Outside of your own company the corporate landscape can change quickly. New companies enter the market, mergers and acquisitions occur, decision makers change and these can all create new career opportunities in your sector. That dream job can sometimes come along, as do new and better salary packages that are just too good to turn down.
If you are not keeping up to date with what is going on, then you are not managing your career thoroughly. As a career professional, you should have the same pro-active approach to managing your career as you do to winning new clients, building your team, increasing your profits, seeking an internal promotion or similar.
From experience, getting a new job can take a minimum of six months to one year when you are seriously looking. It becomes a little harder when you’re not working. It can take years to bounce back into the employment sector.
So, don't wait until you are desperate, miserable or forced to look for a new job. Regardless of how fantastically happy and secure you are at the moment. Give your career a regular health check - you may just need to or be surprised with what you find. If you chance upon a good chance apply, when called for interviews attend anyway, always keep your CV updated.