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How to Navigate a Move That Benefits Your Career

How to Navigate a Move That Benefits Your Career

Sometimes, we’re able to make choices for our professional lives that pack a punch with relatively little action. Many women have been able to succeed by small thoughtful changes; many successful careers have been built by slowly yet consistently moving up the local career ladder.

But sometimes, it takes more than that; sometimes, it requires moving much further than just into a new office on the same floor. At some point, the professional woman may find herself having to make a decision regarding whether or not to pursue a position in a location that requires a move.

If she is considering a move for her job, there is certainly far more to consider and work through. But it’s likely that if she’s at a point in her career where this is an option, she’s also totally capable of managing the challenges that come with it.

move benefit career

Should You Relocate?

Whatever reason you find yourself drawn to a new city, whether because there is potential for your career brand to change for the better, or because you like the culture/scenery better, etc., there are serious questions to ask before you make any permanent decisions.

Data shows that 67 percent of employees who decline relocation do so because of their close family ties. So even for the woman considering a move because she’s hoping to bolster her career, it’s important to think about the non-career related aspects.

If you’re close to your family, are you comfortable with the change in relationships that is sure to take place if you move? Technology saves us from being completely isolated from friends and family, and yet things certainly won't be the same.

If you’re considering a move to a location that is drastically different in climate, have you considered how you’ll be impacted by the weather? If you’re moving north, do you have the gear necessary to drive and live in cold weather? If not, are you prepared to invest? Conversely, if you have pets that are used to cool weather all-year long, will they be able to handle drastic heat?

If you’re contemplating a move it’s likely because you’ve thought through the reasons it’s favorable, but it’s also important to think about why it will be difficult. Consider the positive aspects of where you are and whether or not you can seriously give them up.

First Questions to Ask About the Job

One of the key ways to ensure that you have a successful job hunting experience is to remain as much in control as possible. The women who don’t miss-out or get short-changed are those who know exactly what their rights are during the hiring process. So, to ensure you do know your rights, make sure you’ve done your homework.

You also want to make sure that you are ready to ask the kinds of questions that will prepare you to make an informed decision before accepting the job. To make a smart choice you need to learn as much as you can about what your life will look like if you were to transition.

So, when it’s your turn to ask questions get your pen and notepad out and ask the following:

  • What will my workday typically look like?
  • What is the time-off request protocol like?
  • What kind of training and/or education can I expect?

And, if you’ve been offered a position you can ask:

  • Can I see a copy of the benefits package?
  • When do you need a decision by?

Making Sure It’ll Be a Good Fit

Presenting and defending your interests well is a crucial step in ensuring that you’re not blindsided by the details of a new position.  It can be tempting to believe that the prospective employer has all of the negotiating power, but see that for the misrepresentation that it is. There are some critical components a woman can focus on to ensure her compensation negotiations are smart and effective.

  • Make sure you pick a strategic time. Wait until after the job offer has been extended. Otherwise, and especially at the first meeting, you may appear as if the only thing you care about is compensation, more so even than your commitment to the job.
  • Assess the compensation package critically. In some cases, the base salary may be lower because of assets within the benefits package. It’s important to make sure you understand the total financial value of the compensation package.
  • Be balanced in your tone and language choice. Amy Gallo, writing in the Harvard Business Review, recommends using language that is positive and solution-focused. The goal is to negotiate for the best possible job situation, long-term, and that can mean a variety of things.
  • Remember it is a negotiation. If you refuse to have a back-and-forth, open-minded conversation with your prospective employer, it won’t be productive. Shoot above what you’re hoping for, be ready for them to suggest below that high point, and remain committed to your minimum bottom line. Also, consider including the details of the benefits package in your negotiation.

Beyond your compensation, consider what the culture of the company is like and how you will be able to fit within it. You have to consider how the department is organized and prioritized. The ways that they structure their leadership and promote change, the way that they facilitate feedback and growth are all crucial things to look at.

Will you be entering a work environment where your experience and credentials matter more than anything else?

If you get this far in the process, you’ve gotten through the hardest part. So think about how you want to proceed, do some simple follow-ups, and then take a breath and relax, because it’s out of your hands now.

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.


Networking Tips for Business Women

Networking Tips for Business Women

 pexels photo 601170

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

The technological advancements of the past several years have changed the way people connect with each other academically, socially, and professionally. The prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices has almost completely transformed how we conduct our business interactions. This means that the digital nature of our world calls for a networking strategy that is mindful of online communications and social media platforms.

However, don’t forget the value of networking face-to-face. Though social media and instant communications have influenced how we make connections, to truly make the most of any networking opportunity, you need to be able to do it on- and offline.

In-Person Tips

Online communication continues to grow in popularity, but in-person networking is far from obsolete. Being able to network offline is still a crucial skill to have in the business world. When you speak with someone face-to-face, it’s easier to build stronger relationships more quickly than on the Internet. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make yourself memorable. When meeting someone in person, use this chance to showcase your best qualities and make a lasting, positive impression. This person isn’t just browsing your LinkedIn profile, so make these meetings count.
  • Among other things, Washington State University advises taking advantage of unexpected networking opportunities. Whether you’re at the gym or picking up takeout for dinner, you never know when the right connection will show up. Don’t be afraid to connect outside of work; do your best to put on your game face and go for it.
  • No matter how old school it feels, use business cards. List your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and relevant social media profiles. They are easy to pass along and provide a professional touch to your interactions. Ask for others’ business cards, but only if you plan to follow-up with them. Take their contact information and connect with them online as you build your relationship.

Online Best Practices

As important as face-to-face networking is, online networking is a relevant and significant aspect of today’s business world. When creating new business relationships, be attentive to both your and their online presence.

  • This is one of several useful tips from Rutgers University: be consistent with your online persona. Remember that what you put on the Internet will stay there. People can easily check any facts you share with them, so make sure you’re honest about your identity and credentials. Keep personal accounts private or consider modifying your name if you don’t want future employers or clients to see what you post. However, people may still find you, so keep that in mind before posting pictures of a debaucherous weekend.
  • Keep your online profiles up-to-date. New, consistent posts are crucial to building a brand online, especially if you plan to use them for networking. Stay relevant by putting fresh content on your blog, recent and professional photos of yourself on your social media accounts, and posting regularly on all your online platforms.
  • Do your homework. If you have a big event or meeting coming up, look at the online profiles of other attendees. Get to know them online first, so when you interact in-person, you’re confident and ready to network.

Remember that networking isn’t just about meeting people; it’s about making meaningful connections. If you want to network successfully, incorporate both in-person and online interactions when cultivating your relationships. Technology has provided us with even more resources to help us form these relationships; use them to your advantage and network like a pro.


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