View from the board: when to make your move

Now, I’m no turkey, but some of you may remember that in a recent article I
acted against my supposed type, and argued with those among my peers

who say that loyalty to one company is a bad thing.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. But you do have to ask yourself the
question: when is the best time to look for a new role?

The answer is very simple. It’s when you are ecstatically happy in your
current job and you don’t really want to leave.

Why? Because that’s when you are going to have to be tempted. That’s when the
job someone rings you about has got to be superb; otherwise, why on earth would
you leave?

If we assume that it’s true that the best time to look for a role is when you
are really happy doing what you are doing, then it’s also worth thinking about
the worst time to look for a role.

And that’s very simple too. It’s when you really, really need to find another
job. It could be because you hate your boss, or you can’t face another year end.

But the fact remains: if you are not enjoying what you are doing, then
anything else is going to seem like a better option, and that’s the worst time
to be looking around.

The job you accept in these circumstances tends to be the job you leave after
just three weeks.

In short, you need to be in the right frame of mind when you are looking for
a role. So don’t do it when you’re desperate. Do it when you are happy and
settled and needing to be tempted.

Ideally you’d look for a new job after around two years Ð depending on how
varied your role is.

The rule of thumb is that in the first year, you are learning, and in the
second year, you are improving. The third year is really just about fine-tuning.

But I actually think that after about six months, you should make sure you’re
back in touch with the headhunters. Discreetly, of course.

But you should do it, just to make sure that if that ‘perfect job’ comes
along, they wouldn’t ignore you because you’ve only been in your current role
for seven months!

Mark Freebairn is a partner at Odgers Ray &

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