Q: I am in a stable job (as stable as employment goes) but am considering moving for higher salary and better advancement prospects.
Given the world wide economic situation, and in particular the looming US budget threat, is there a high risk in moving into a new job now?
A: When I read your question (and re-read your question), initially I could only reply with one question: "Where is my crystal ball?" Unfortunately, I don't have a crystal ball. I wish I did! I will have to talk with my editor at www.boston.com about that request!
Stability in a current role is valuable right now. I know many unemployed individuals who would likely view your current situation with envy. There is always a risk when you change jobs and/or companies. However, sometimes these risks can pay off.
However, many professionals often “keep the door open” in the event another opportunity presents itself. It is a smart tactic. We live and work in uncertain times. No one can predict the future. However, you can proactively prepare yourself should you encounter uncertainty in your current role.
You raise a related and important topic. Successful job hunters often have a robust and active network EVEN before they launch a job search. What do I mean? Be smart by growing your professional network each and every day, not just when you are job hunting. Become active on LinkedIn. Connect and re-connect with colleagues both on-line and in person. Ensure that your skills are current. Dust off your resume and look at it with a fresh eye. Does it represent you well? If not, consider giving it a tune-up. Use social media to broaden your network and reach out to new contacts or associations. Never say no to an introduction within your field.
Now about getting my hands on that crystal ball...