Making the next big move: Assessing and preparing for your next career move

by | Sep 15, 2021 | Public Relations

All of the headlines in my LinkedIn feed read the same:

  • “’I Quit My Job’ Is a Signal of Economic Recovery” – The New York Times
  • “Welcome to the Summer of quitting.” – LA Times
  • “Before you join ‘The Great Resignation’ and quit your job, here’s what you need to know.” – CNBC News
  • “The Covid vaccine means a return to work. And a wave of resignations.” – NBC News

Management professor Anthony Klotz coined the term “Great Resignation,” and he seems to be spot on. However, as I look at my coworkers—the new, fresh, and excited as well as the tenured, experienced, and welcoming—I see there is much more to the change… There is major opportunity.

Ketchum’s New Essentials Study said it best, “A Year into the Pandemic, We Aren’t ‘Returning’ to Work—We’re Redefining It.”

Whether you’re accepting a new job, physically moving to a different city, getting an advanced degree, or making another bold change, redefinition should always come with strategy.

The Emerging Leaders Group members, of which I am a part through The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, have run the gamut on career change in 2021. One woman led us through a wedding and a city-move, another took a new high-profile corporate role, one man got a well-deserved promotion, another took on a more global role within his company. I stayed put and focused on opportunities within my company.

From it all, we’ve shared some valuable lessons through an extensive, action-packed resource guide on Making The Next Big Move in your career.

Here are the key takeaways:

Assess your readiness

Ask questions like “what is motivating me to make this change?” and “how will this change benefit my long-term goals?” Remember Betsy Plank’s advice to “leave a job when it doesn’t challenge you.” Ask for feedback from your personal “Board of Directors” and ask for perspectives you might be blind to.

Consider the types of moves you can make

The Big Promotion that allows for more responsibility, The Expansion of your current role, The Lateral Move to a new focus at the same level, The External Move to a new organization, and The Geographic Move of relocation.

Weigh your options holistically

While we’ve been inundated with those headlines on “the great resignation,” consider that in a healthy organization, you don’t have to change companies to grow in your career. Embrace Betsy Plank’s commandment to “factor personal values into every season.” Don’t be afraid to consider multiple options simultaneously.

Prepare now and leverage your network

Finesse your skillset, consider the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), think through timing of change conversations, talk to professionals in the location or the industry where you want to be.

Get off on the right foot

Once you make the big move, reassess your short- and long-term goals again. Focus on what success means to you—and others. Pick up a book called “The First 90 Days” by Michael Watkins at your local bookstore to accelerate the typical 6.2 months that it takes to provide true value back to a new organization.

Making the next big move may seem like it’s all up to you, but consider the leaders, sponsors, and mentors who supported you along the way. Be strategic about the process and bring your humans along for the ride.

Of course, be respectful of how you share your departure or request for change with your company, but also be excited about new opportunities. Let your closest confidants know first and individually. From your manager and their manager to the IT team and office staff, write a note letting folks know where to find you. Every human you work with is important to your growth—and likely will work with you again in some capacity. Our industry is small. All career changes should come with gratitude, respect, and a handful of thank you cards.

Now, get ready, buckle up, and put yourself in the driver’s seat of your career. Change allows for great growth!

Ready to make the next big move? Check out Making The Next Big Move here.

Myreete Wolford
Myreete Wolford is Senior Manager, Business Development at Ketchum and member of The Emerging Leaders Group at The Plank Center.


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