Project Management for Job Searches – Initiation

The decision to look for a new job should be approached in the same way as any other project. The initiation phase lays the foundation and is therefore the most important stage of the project. Experts note that project managers who take the initiation phase too lightly often fail. When embarking upon a job search this key step of the project management process should not be ignored.

For most people, a job represents the most significant factor in their professional life. And the pursuit of employment is one of the most important projects they will ever have to manage. Before you resign from your position or aim a few choice words at your supervisor, it is a good idea to determine how possible another opportunity is going to be. After all, an established mechanical engineer doesn’t wake up one morning and decide he is going to be a television news anchor instead. It takes a lot of hard work to change careers. Do some research and explore your options. Be sure to note any alternative solutions, along with a scope of how feasible it is to find a new job.

Business Needs: Why Change Jobs?

There are a lot of reasons why people decide to change jobs. One of the most common reasons is getting laid off or fired. Many of us are on the hunt for a better offer. You may feel underemployed, like you need to expand your knowledge base or seek out higher wages and more comprehensive benefits. Sometimes we want to escape a bad boss or a hostile work environment. It could be a major life event such as a long distance move or an ailing loved one. Perhaps you are just stressed out, and have decided that you are not very good at this line of work. It’s time for a change.

Current Operations: Examining Your Situation

You know why you want a new job but that does not mean it is going to be easy. As with any endeavor there are going to be costs and benefits. You may have a sense of belonging in your workplace. You already get along with your coworkers, have grown accustomed to your schedule, and the pace of moving throughout the week. Remember you are not the only stakeholder in this situation, and consider how such a change would affect family or loved ones. But if you were making tens of thousands more dollars per year, or were living your dream, it would be worth shaking up your routine.

Project Charter: The Business Case

The business case of a job search is a general outline of the reasoning behind the project. Although this marks the formal beginning to the project, the business case does not necessarily have to be a notarized document or a full length report. It is a sketch that includes why you want to look for a new job, as well as alternative solutions and any associated costs. You may want to start out by drawing a mind map, or making a list of the pros and cons. Don’t get too caught up in plotting out the details. Think of the initiation as more of an examination, there will plenty of time for that in the planning and design phase.

In order to make the most of the crucial initiation phase, you should review your final project study with the utmost seriousness. After you are sure that your initial plan is complete and accurate it is time to advance to the next stage of your search.

by Elizabeth de Moya

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