Phoenix became known as the "Silicon Desert" ever since it began challenging California's Silicon Valley as the prevalent location in the West for high-tech industries. Tempe even has its own nickname--the "Tech Oasis."
With dot-coms popping up everywhere the lure is nearly irresistible to get a job with one. It is critical to be aware, however, that not every new technology-related company is not necessarily an "oasis," and not every start-up will be the next Microsoft. As many people have discovered, there are plenty of seemingly sensational opportunities that turn out to be a "mirages." Before you make a change, there are some things you should decide about yourself and what really constitutes a "dream job" for you.
You might have a great reputation in your industry and that makes you a "hot commodity", right? If you love working in a fast-paced environment, are willing to take the risk of accepting lower pay today in exchange for possible future rewards, and you don't mind wearing many "hats" when it's called for, a start-up company could be for you. If you prefer working for a company 9-5 every day, want established medical/dental and vacation benefits, and hate having surprises dropped in your lap moment by moment, you may find a start-up is not your best match.
Now that we have assessed your preferred work environment, do you have the skills and education you need for a new job? Do you know exactly what you want to be/do? What are you good at? Or wait! Maybe you already have your dream job and are just not getting the recognition you feel you deserve. Is it a matter of money? You've told your boss how much others are getting paid in your same position to no avail. You've done great work and even your boss recognizes how good you are, but turns a deaf ear to your requests for a raise. You believe that it is time for you to move on to an organization that appreciates you. You know your employer is going to be sorry to lose you - no one else is going to work for the pay you are getting. They will be wishing you were back the minute you leave, right? And you might wish yourself back as well! So before you do anything dramatic or regrettable, take a moment to revise your resume to show all the experience you have and the responsibilities you have had. Make it really sparkle! ProvenResumes.com has some outstanding examples of resumés for all industries.
Now list all your accomplishments with your present company. Pretty impressive, isn't it? Next write down all the things you appreciate about the company and why you would want to continue your career there. If you can't think of anything to write, perhaps this isn't your dream job.
But let's say it is, except for just a few "small things." Armed with the facts, ask your boss for an "interview." Sit down with him/her and discuss your list of successes and your resume. Be assertive but not aggressive when you say that you believe that your past performance and your list of successes merit a pay increase. Review your accomplishments with the boss; the more specific they are, the more impressed he/she will be. Don't just say you increased sales. Provide details! You increased sales 45% over last year's sales, you decreased expenses by 16% and you improved profits by 125% (only the truth, of course!). You get the idea. The worst that can happen is you won't get a raise. But perhaps the boss will recognize that YOU are an asset too valuable to lose!
If your approach is not successful, and you decide a new job is the only solution, develop a plan for your search. Do you know which companies might have suitable positions? Do they have job hotlines? Will you check the local classifieds?
Where Might You Find Your Dream Job?
Best Places To Work in Phoenix
Online Job Search
Phoenix Large Employers
Arizona Republic Classifieds Online
If you will be searching online check this list of Best Job Search Sites on the Internet. It includes local Arizona resources for Veterans and libraries with public access to the Internet.
Whether you are looking for a position right now or not, it never hurts to network - so join an active Internet professional group like The Arizona Internet Professionals Association ("AZIPA") and keep up with all the new Arizona Internet happenings.
The better prepared you are, the more likely that you will find YOUR "Dream Job."
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Terri Robinson is the President of Robinson & Associates, a woman-owned recruiting company that specializes in sales and marketing professionals. Terri has been published in Arizona Women's News, Arizona Reporter Online News, and interviewed by Recruiting Trends' Newsletter for their Extreme Recruiting column.