“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 26

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 26

Advice from Babe to Babe

It can be tough to keep your cool when looking for a new job or relocating to a new city. This week, the BWH Advice Gurus address how to handle the job-search jitters while still at your current job, and are here with the tough truth about finding autonomy in our 9-5s.

You can look for jobs without informing your current employer. In fact, in most cases, I don't think you should tell your employer you're looking elsewhere.


It depends a bit on your relationship with your boss. I agree while you're searching you should definitely keep it on the low, but if you get down the line in an interview and feel like your boss would appreciate the heads up or it might be good leverage so they know you're looking, it might be worth it to let them know.


Keep it hush until you have a written offer. Then, tell your current employer you received an offer and are considering it. Then, give your employer the chance to counter-offer and make you happy (more money, more PTO, etc.) to stay in your job. If their offer isn’t good enough, deliver a letter of resignation and if you’re comfortable, offer to help find a replacement.


I am of the opinion that you should always give your current employer the chance to allow you the opportunities you’re looking for. Maybe you’ve already done this and decided external positions are the best for you. The best exit strategy is to look during your free time and keep kicking butt in your role so you keep gaining experience. Let them know when you have the offer, that if they can’t do better, you’re going to accept. You can always tell them how thankful you are for everything they’ve given you during your time, but no one will fault you for making the best decision for you.


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Looking for a new job or opportunity can be thrilling. You get swept up imagining yourself in a new role or a new city, planning what you’ll do with that bigger paycheck, what your new apartment will look like—and before you know it you’ve checked out of the life you’re actually living. Ground yourself! Lean on your closest friends or your significant other, and open up about what you’re going through. Talking it through will help you daydream less and start looking at it more objectively. Don’t forget to focus on all the positive in your life right now—from your work wife to the barista on your way into the office who knows your order, you’re sure to find something. Realizing what you appreciate most will help you look for that in your next chapter.


Give yourself permission to be in this weird in-between place. Develop a gratitude practice that allows you to focus on what’s good right now, but don’t punish yourself if you aren’t present and mindful 100 percent of the time.


Allow yourself to get excited on your own time and speak about it with close friends (outside of work), and then get back into the zone when you’re at work. Appreciate the current opportunity that’s funding your life and don’t give anyone a reason to say “She really had been checked out lately” once the news breaks. Stay grinding, no matter what! (Also, best to not tell anyone you work with—even good friends—until you break the news officially.)


When you’re looking for a new job, it’s very easy to get swept up in the idea of a new life and what the new job will bring for you. Remember you don’t want to burn bridges with a former employer, even if you don’t like the job. Save the planning and searching for your off-time. Use a planner and designate specific times you can search and dream. That helps me when I’m looking for new opportunities, but still responsible for the tasks I’ve previously committed too.


Set aside specified time to look for jobs (like Sunday evenings for two hours) and try to put it out of your head when it’s not that day and time.


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Is this a real question? Work is not time for yourself. If you have a position without much autonomy, then your time needs to be spent focused on work. Squeeze your podcast/reading in on your meal break, or wait until you're not working to do those things.


Work is for work. Your employer is paying you for (I’m assuming) eight hours of your undivided attention. I’m also assuming there is a lunch break and perhaps a 15-minute break nested around that. That’s when you do your things—and after work too.


Work is a contract: you give your employer a service (be it waiting tables, designing logos or fielding customer service calls) for a certain amount of time, and they give you money in return. Steal away time for yourself off the clock—and consider whether your perspective on work is contributing to the lack of autonomy your employer is giving you. Can they trust you to honor your end of the contract?


Until Next Week,


Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!

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