I’m not sure how you feel about your current IT manager job, but I’m hoping that we can both agree about something: this is not going to be the last job that you ever have. What that means is that you need to be prepared to go find your next job. I’m hoping that this means that you go looking while you have a job, but sometimes life doesn’t work out that way and we need to go hunting for our next job when our current job has left us. What are you going to need to know in order to use your IT manager skills to be successful in this search?
It’s All About Time
When it comes time for you to go looking for your next job, the one virtue you are going to have to work on developing is going to be patience. The reason that this is so important is because in the past few years employers have started taking nearly twice as long as in the past to make up their minds on who they want to offer a job to. Back in 2010, it took an employer 13 days to interview and screen a prospective employee. That number has now increased to 23 days.
What this means for you is that you are going to be asked to do more during the interview process. What you may be asked to do has not been covered in any IT manager training and may include completing a gantlet of interviews not only with potential bosses but also with teams of people that you may be working with. There is also the real possibility that you may be asked to complete one or more personality tests. Depending on the type of job that you are going for, there is always the possibility that you’ll be asked to present some sort of IT plan – moving to the cloud, securing desktops, etc.
Although all of this is a hassle for you, we need to understand why it’s all being done. It turns out that hiring the wrong person is a costly mistake for a company. Companies realize that if they choose to hire you, it may take between six months to a year to get you up to speed and if you didn’t work out then replacing you just might play havoc with their staffing budget. There are a lot of people who would like to fill each open position. A company has a real challenge on their hands when they try to sort through the potential candidates to find the right one for them.
Why Finding Your Next Job Can Be So Frustrating
I wish that I could tell you that when it becomes time for you to go out and start your search for your next job, all you are going to have to do is to tell the world that you are looking and they’ll beat a path to your door. Unfortunately this is probably not the way that things are going to work out. As you proceed through the marathon of tests that a potential new employer presents you with, you are going to have to have some pretty thick skin. The length of time that the process can take can cause frustration and you may start to blame yourself for how long it’s taking.
What you need to realize during this process is that things are taking longer because employers have added additional steps to their hiring process. These days, most job interviews start off with what is called an initial phone screening. These can add 6.8 to 8.2 days to the overall hiring process. Often the next step consists of face-to-face interviews with multiple people who already work at the company. These can be difficult to schedule around everyone’s different commitments. The end result is that these types of interviews can add 5.6 to 6.8 days to the interview process. Working in personality and skills tests can add several more days also.
You do have the ability to take control of this process. During the first interview, you need to make sure to ask about the company’s hiring process. Ask the person that you are talking with about the timeline that they are following. Ask them by when they need to have this position filled. In some cases there may be long waits between interviews. You need to be careful to not allow this to get to you. The one thing that you don’t want to do is to contact the company and ask about how things are going. This can show a note of desperation on your part. Instead, try to make friends with people during the interview process and then use these contacts to find out what’s going on later on.
What All Of This Means For You
No IT manager job is forever and what that means for us is that at some point in time in the future we will probably be looking for our next job. We hope that it’s because we want to, but even if it’s not we need to do a good job of this task. Just like when we do IT team building we’d like to be as successful as possible as quickly as possible.
What you are going to have to understand as you start your search for your next job is that things have changed since you last went looking. It now takes longer to land that next job. Additionally, you will probably be required to do more during the interview process. This may include multiple interviews, personality tests, and even completing sample projects. The reason that this process takes so long is because firms don’t feel that they can make a mistake when they hire someone. Each step in their extended hiring process can add days to the overall process. The good news is that you can take control of things by asking questions. Get the information that you’ll need by asking the right questions right off the bat.
The good news is that your next IT manager job is out there. The bad news is that you are going to have to jump though some hoops in order to find it. You need to expect the interview process to take longer than you were used to. However, if you are willing to stick with it, there is a very good chance that you are going to land that better IT manager job that you’ve been looking for!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: If you get an offer from a company that you are only partially interested in working for, should you accept it or hold out for a better offer?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
You know, we spend a lot of time talking about what we think that a good IT manager should be doing. We explore how they should use their IT manager skills to manage their team, how they can provide good feedback and how they can take care of all of the administrative things that come along with the job. However, what we probably don’t spend enough time talking about are the things that an IT manager should NOT be doing. There have got to be a bunch of these, but, based on our IT manager training, what is the #1 thing that an IT manager should not do?