Work, Career, Job, we all have to have one. Most of us aren't independently wealthy. Having an income means we can eat!
Searching for a new job whether your laid off or currently employed is a task unto itself, its stressful, challenging, and your never quite sure what your going to get when it all is said and done. But you can take steps to ensure you come out on the better end of the bargain.
1) Don't sell yourself short- you know what you can do, get it on paper, if you can't figure out how to do that, contact a resume writer for assistance. It may cost a bit, but it will be better for you in the long run to have a professional do your resume, and expound on your attributes in a way that makes employers stand in line to hire you.
2) Be choosy-chose the best fit for you. Sometimes the final decision doesn't come down to the highest salary, but instead the benefits, be they company provided, our benefits solely to your lifestyle. Maybe one employer provides a very high salary, but another pays lower but provides free on sight day care, so you can trot downstairs and see little Johnny on your breaks. What matters more to you, and how much money are you going to be putting out to pay for outside daycare? Sometimes, a benefit can have a huge monetary gain on the back end. Does the time off from a lower paying employer give you time to work those profitable craft shows, is that income comparable to the higher paying employer? Do the calculations. Do you have every weekend off to call your own? If so, is it worth it? You decide.
3) Environment- Check your employee reviews, does the company have a bad name, do they provide little support to their employees in the way of training, are they lax on their raise policies, Check the internet. Is the company open to new ideas, do the workers seem pleasant and happy(if you get a chance to take a tour) ask around, any insight is better than none.
4) You don't have to say yes right then and there-Any employer who requires you to accept an offer right then and there for ANY excuse, is a red flag so large it blocks out the sun. A reputable employer, with descent hiring practices expects you to think over their offer, at least overnight before accepting. So, politely ask to have a day to think it over, go home do your calculations, discuss it with your significant other, or whomever you choose, and then call the next morning, EARLY, and give your answer.
5) Two weeks notice-I have to be honest, I am not a big believer in the two weeks notice rule.
With one exception- if you want to keep your bridges intact, and not burn them. You may someday want to return to a previous employer, and if so, giving two weeks notice is a great idea.
But, as a general rule, I myself, don't give notice any more than two days. Why? Because many employers become hard to deal with if you do. They know you are leaving, it upsets them, they feel as if they have provided you with a position, and now your throwing it in their face and walking away. Tensions can get quite high. You are ready to move on and anticipating your new position with another company, and you may be leaving them at what they deem an inappropriate time. It can and often does get quite messy. A good employer will accept your resignation better if you explain that you are furthering your career, and moving on.
This also gives your current employer an opportunity to step up and offer you a better position, better pay, or other benefits in order to keep you, if they do not, you were better off going on to something better anyway.
On a side note: employers seldom give their employees the courtesy of two weeks notice when they lay them off, or terminate their position. So, as a rule that notice to them when I depart is something I don't spend a lot of time worrying about.
We all know there may come a time when we will accept any job offered to us, just to make bills. I've done it, you've done it, we all have. I have done everything from clean horse stalls to flip burgers to make ends meet. But, remember when you take that job cleaning offices overnights. This isn't the last job you'll ever have. Get that resume out there and find some real work that makes you happy and fulfilled, do not spend your work life being miserable, if the jobs not a good fit, move on as quickly as you can.