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Should I change my job during such an uncertain time?

Posted by Pattie Hunt Sinacole  December 5, 2011 07:36 AM

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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 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...

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.