Go to Menu The Wall Says
It's Time To Go

By Nick Corcodilos

That Ache Is Your Career Telling You Something
Unfortunately, the act of changing jobs is usually reactionary rather than planned. Most of us are so busy doing our jobs that we simply don't have time to contemplate, much less pursue, a new job with another employer. When we do make a change, it's often because some immediate event forced change upon us. These kinds of events include, but are certainly not limited to, a downsizing, a disagreement with a boss, an unexpected job offer or a failure to get an expected raise.

Until one of these events occurs, we tend to grin and bear surprisingly high levels of discomfort about our careers, our jobs and our future. Consequently, we rarely stop to recognize legitimate "change signals" or to ask the question, "Is it time for me to go?"

If you're experiencing career discomfort, I want to poke you where it hurts so it'll hurt a little more — not to antagonize you, but to encourage you to figure out exactly what's causing it. If you can do that, you might be able to start planning your next career step, before circumstances step on your career.

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The Writing On The Wall
You probably know what I'm talking about. You see the writing on the wall, but like most busy people, you ignore it so you can get on with the daily chore of slaying another dragon at work. But it's time to start reading the signals your career is sending you. If you decide these signals are not so serious and your discomfort is more imagined than real, maybe you'll relax a little and enjoy your job more. If you're in considerable pain, maybe I can help you isolate the specific signal that's tormenting you. Then you can make some specific decisions and take control of your work life.

People tend to go on interviews for the same reason a mountain climber climbs a mountain: because "it's there." Headhunters deal with that by having more than one candidate available for the client. But they also devote considerable effort to helping the candidate isolate the reasons that led him to consider a change. That's how the headhunter develops his "pitch" to sell the position to the candidate. (I don't use that word pejoratively; a pitch can be very honest and sincere.) That is, we play the role of "the shrink," trying to make a connection between the new job and a person's needs and discomforts. Unless we can get into the person's head and figure out what's really bothering him about his job or career, we can't motivate him to consider a new job seriously. It's part of our job to know what the writing on the wall might be, even before we meet the prospective candidate.

Let's look at some examples of the most common writing on the wall. It's up to you to decide whether it represents a compelling reason to consider changing jobs or employers...

This article has been truncated...


Headhunter Nick Corcodilos's acclaimed
The Wall Says It's Time to Go
is revised and expanded,
and is now a section of Nick's PDF book:

Parting Company | How to leave your job

  • Do you know how to leave
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  • Do you know when you've
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  • Before you get fired?

  • Before you get laid off?

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Notes from the
Ask The Headhunter community

"This is like reading a high-priced consultant's report to discover the "BFO" (blinding flash of the obvious). A lot of what you write makes absolute sense. It's intuitive (dare I say innate) and yet so many of us continue to follow traditional HR dogma when searching for work. Shame."
Bill Hiltz

"The great news about your recommendations is that they work. The good news for those of us who use them is that few people are really willing to implement what you recommend, giving those of us who do an edge."
Ray Stoddard

"I read your columns and have bought your book (and read it several times). It sits on my desk to refer to. It changed the way I look at job hunting 180 degrees! I recommend it to everyone who has need of it (and most have bought it!). If you do a sequel, I will buy that one, too."
Bill Cartwright

"Nick, you probably know that you are the one writer in the country (or the world) that I never disagree with. You hit all the notes that I have been crying 'alarm' about since 1970 myself. You are uncannily on target, all the time. God bless your work, as always."
Dick Bolles, Author,
What Color Is Your Parachute?

"Nick... what can I do but join the teeming throngs of folks chanting your praises? No-BS, tell-it-like-it-is folks like you are too damned rare. I'm emailing you to say thanks. You are my new hero."
Mary Lee Chapman

"Just a note to let you know that your job seeking advice is pure gold. Nice to see somebody cut through the morass with intelligence."
Gary Deines

I am a retired USAF officer who just got furloughed out of four years with Northwest Airlines. I feel like I have just cut through a thunderstorm and found smooth air and bright sunshine on the other side. Thanks!"
Jack Elliott

"I like your no-nonsense approach to the search-related topics you tackle. You are not afraid to go against the grain and shake things up with a dose of reality and responsibility. I LIKE IT!"
Kristie Derkos

Get the edge NOW!
Parting Company | How to leave your job

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