December 13, 2000, 8:12 AM — SAN FRANCISCO BAY area-based career coach Susan Zitron knows about career
changes. She has worked in recruiting and outsourcing, and currently runs her own
coaching business ( href="http://www.zitroncareerservices.com">www.zitroncareerservices.com) to help
clients minimize mistakes while job hunting. Zitron explains how IT professionals can
protect themselves from the emotional fallout of a volatile job market.
"You always have to have one eye on the market and one eye on your job as a matter
of course," says Zitron. "I believe your job is your company's responsibility; your
career is your own responsibility."
Zitron says her advice is to expect to be in a job no longer than three years,
given the constant changes in the industry.
But disabuse yourself of any illusions.
"Don't be seduced by your own desire to be wanted," Zitron says. "Really get clear
on what's important to you."
Next, Zitron suggests reflecting on how you have managed change in the past. Even
if you have been with one company for a long time, that company will have gone through
"[People manage change] either by default or by design," Zitron says.
Balance your current job with your job search.
Shopping for a new job while you already have one can be tricky, but staying
connected can ease the anxiety.
"You must commit yourself to meeting the goals at your present company and do a
great job at that; at the same time, join and attend professional associations where
you can meet people who can provide you with inside information about what's going on,
because often times good opportunities are only filled by referral," Zitron says.
Control after-interview tension.
Zitron lists some basic steps to help minimize the agony of waiting to hear the
results of an interview.
* Ask questions before you leave.
"In order to reduce some of the tension and pressure during an interview, be sure
to ask when they intend to have the position filled," Zitron says. "Are there any
internal candidates being considered? Have they extended an offer to anyone yet? Is
there any reason why you wouldn't be considered a top candidate for this position? Find
that out before you leave."
* Follow up.
"Follow up your interview with a letter that speaks to the interviewer's key
points, reviewing the reasons why you could do a good job," Zitron says.
* Be persistent.