Many of my clients are working in environments that have changed drastically in the last 3 years. Teams and offices that once employed 8, 10, or 12 employees are currently doing the same work but with only 4 or 5 people. The remaining employed staff members are expected to do twice the work while often being “asked” to agree to a pay cut. Sound familiar?

These remaining employees have done an incredible job maintaining sales, production, and service levels but at a great costs. My clients in this position have confided that their mental and physical health as well as their relationship  with family and friends is being affected by the stress and long hours. They often say because they currently have a job that supports their family or lifestyle and so they actually feel guilty looking for work, but can’t take the pressure any longer.

Three recent clients that come to mind, the first told me “I woke up and decided I was done”. He walked in to his office that morning and resigned from his position, collected his personal things and decided to move to another state and look for work there. No plan, no preparation. Most people can’t take this route if they have families that need to be included in the decision. For him it was a fresh start and that excited him. However, he has taken on 2 part time jobs in his new state to meet living expenses while  he continues to search for a position that meets his true career goals.

My second client stayed with her position while she worked with me to prepare her resume materials and got caught up on her job search and networking skills. When she had completed her efforts with me she felt she was ready to quit her job, which she did. She immediately began her full time job search, to which she was extremely successful, landing a new position in just 3 weeks. She had planned, prepared, saved money, and was ready for the challenge; getting her ducks in a row before leaving her company and position.

My newest client, a single mom, has a very detailed plan and time line for her transition. She plans to relocate with her 2 teenagers to another state before the start of school next fall and must have a new job by then to make her plan a reality. We are working to update her resume materials to include a Masters Degree she will be finishing up next month and to really target the type of position and company she is looking to work for. I have no doubt she will have a job waiting for her when she moves later this year. She has already contacted recruiters, developed an extensive network and joined geographically local groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and has plans for a 2nd trip to the new city next month to talk with people she’s met and visit with a few directors for companies she is targeting.

All three of these job seekers were at jobs that kept them working well beyond 40 hours a week and often closer to 60 hours in order to manage their work load. They felt very guilty for wanting to leave their jobs when so many others were desperate to find work. And all three still needed to work to support themselves and their families, but have finally came to the realization that finding a new job was doable and would restore some kind of balance back into their lives.

Whichever route you take, don’t let guilt hold you back. Remember, when you find a new, better fitting job there will always be a candidate or two that will be thrilled and grateful to step into your old job. I would however, think through your decision so you can successfully prepare for the changes that will come with your decision to look for a new job.

Shine On Job Seekers!

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