Time for a Career Move? Recommendations for Professionals at a Crossroads

Job Hunting While Employed

July marked the 58th consecutive month of job growth for the U.S. economy, according to the July jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), released last Friday. The data shows U.S. employers added 215,000 jobs last month, and job gains have averaged 235,000 over the past three months. The overall unemployment rate, unchanged from June, stands at 5.3 percent.

In his analysis of the July jobs report, Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald says that many workers currently employed may be wondering if it’s time to make a move. He notes that many professionals take stock of their careers during the summer months, and steady growth in the job market may provide them extra incentive to explore new opportunities.

For skilled professionals at a career path crossroads — deciding whether to stick with their current position, or pursue a new opportunity — McDonald offers these tips:

  • Ask yourself, ‘Why do I want a change?’. Before you begin job hunting while employed, think about why, specifically, you’re motivated to make a move. Are you looking for higher compensation, more work-life balance, more professional development opportunities or something else?

  • Determine what changes, if any, would convince you to stay. Once you identify the core reasons you feel it’s time to find a new job, consider whether those issues could be resolved in your current role. (With skilled professionals in short supply, employers are motivated to keep their best on board, and you may be surprised by your boss’s response if you make reasonable requests for change, notes McDonald.)

  • Remain under the radar if you pursue a new job. If you have explored ways of reigniting your passion for your current position and still believe it’s best to explore other options, be discreet about your search. Plus, you still have your current responsibilities to fulfill, regardless of your new job aspirations.

A third path to consider: consulting

Jobs are out there: In fact, the BLS reported more than 5.4 million vacancies across the United States in May, the most since 2000. And the demand for skilled talent remains strong: the unemployment rate for college-degreed workers 25 and older was just 2.6 percent last month, according to the July jobs report.

However, McDonald advises that job seekers be patient when looking for work in the summer months, when the hiring process may be slower than usual due to decision makers taking vacations.

If you are an experienced professional with in-demand skills, you may have a third path to consider beyond staying in your old job or taking a new full-time role somewhere else: consulting. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, eight in 10 chief financial officers said a career in consulting is an attractive option for senior-level accounting and finance executives.

Consulting work is a way to strike out on your own and take advantage of intellectually stimulating and challenging assignments with a variety of employers. Diversity of projects, flexible work schedules, and professional growth opportunities are just some of the benefits that consulting jobs can offer.

So, if you do decide it is time to find a new job, and you have the right skills, you might want to add financial consulting jobs to your list of possibilities.

Learn more

Visit the Robert Half blog to read McDonald’s full analysis of the July jobs report, and for additional guidance on job hunting while employed.

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