There are two parameters at play here – knowing where you want to go and determining if there is a favourable wind. These two parameters correspond perfectly to what you must evaluate when making a decision about a change in your professional life. The professional environment, just like the weather, is beyond our control. In your career, just like in any project, the important thing is not the final destination so much as the ability to adapt to the way the wind is blowing and to circumstances.
Nevertheless, a change of job must not be left to chance. Proceed in a methodical way and always keep a cool head. As part of your preparations, start by observing carefully the opportunities which arise. Seneca forgot to mention that nobody goes anywhere without a favourable wind. Don’t take this statement as an apology for hesitation. It is simply better to keep you back covered while you are prospecting rather than resign on an impulse. The professional world is not the place for impulsiveness.
Put the odds in your favour and start off by taking stock of all your achievements. Take the time to make an honest summary of your career to date and ask yourself if it is the right moment to leave; before the completion of such and such project or before successfully dealing with such and such file. Take advantage of your position in the company until the very end. A few weeks won’t make a big difference. Update your profile on Linkedin (professional photo, CV up to date, profile in your mother tongue and English, etc.) and make contact with a recruitment firm. Once you have established contact, you will be in the database and thus can be approached each time a post which corresponds to your profile arises.
So it is not just a question of knowing where you are going, but also being able to seize opportunities when they present themselves – even if they make you change your route. Adaptability always pays off!
Charles-Henri Dumon, CEO & Founder of Morgan Philips Group