Learn to strategically map your career to any goal, like VP or better — retirement.
Make sure you have the following things in order before making looking for a new role
Study the company and its culture. Look up the interviewers on LinkedIn (or other social media) to understand your audience. Don’t just focus on the technicals: people spend half their waking hours at their job, and relationships are extremely important too!
No matter what your experience level or rank is, having a well constructed 30-60-90 day plan is not only a great way to impress a hiring manager or decision-maker, but it’s essential to making the most of the new position from day one.
Making a point to Observe and Learn, then to Engage and Track, and finally, Act and Own will set you apart and give you the context and clarity to excel at your new job.
When at all possible, enter the job search process with a way to support yourself and your family financially for the next year.
For most of us, that means “don’t quit your day job” until you’ve landed the next one. If you end up in a position where you need something “now” to keep food on the table, you will be literally unable to afford to be picky about the place you work, let alone the salary you earn.
Even when the job market is hot – always make sure you have the financial means to avoid being pushed into a role you don’t want.
If you have a gap between jobs, use that time for continuing professional education or other skill-building activities like side projects or volunteer work.
The goal is to keep your skills active and growing.
As a bonus, you’ll get practice working independently from direction by a boss (who doesn’t love a “self-starter?”). These are all things you can either put on a resume or talk about during an interview or onboarding.