The Science of Finding Your Next Team

Published: January 15, 2016

It’s time for a change. The leadership team hasn’t yet recognized your decision to leave the organization. They’re unwittingly funding your job hunt. Perhaps it was the lack of investment in your growth or maybe the misalignment with your values that triggered your readiness. It no longer matters why you’ve decided to leave. Your focus has shifted to the next opportunity.

There is an art and science to finding the next team. The art begins with creating a vision for the outcome of the change. Imagining the role that would awaken your professional passion provides guideposts and a target. The science of the transition, however, follows a specific sequence of steps.

Step 1: Data

There are countless tools at your disposal to assess your strengths, interests, skills, and personality. The more aligned your next role is with your wiring, the more likely your opportunity to thrive. Gather the data.

Step 2: Asset Inventory

Your next role is a natural outgrowth of the career path you’ve traveled. Take stock in the resources you’ve collected along the way. This includes specialized knowledge, a list of accomplishments, an updated LinkedIn profile communicating your brand, and a formidable network of friends, colleagues, and mentors who are eager to support your efforts.

Step 3: Project Planning

The logistics and timelines are delicate. Reaching out for a networking conversation before completing your background homework is a misstep. Telegraphing your plan before you’re ready to execute sends irreversible messages. Plot your course with the accountability of a coach or mentor who will monitor your plan and offer honest feedback.

Step 4: Execution

Strategic and energized networking eventually leads to a spectrum of opportunities. Filter them down to the most meaningful options. Patience has more clarity than urgency. Keep your poise as the avenues unfold. Compare and contrast according to the uniqueness of your priorities.

Step 5: Outcome Measurement

Evaluate the results of your project. Determine whether your next step resonates with your goals. Consider the objectives you were seeking – more meaningful work, better compensation, a more collaborative team, a chance to make a difference in the world, stronger mentorship – and measure the degree to which they support your career vision.

Say goodbye with class and dignity. Redirect your energy forward. The evolution of your professional path has now been guided by a true expert – you.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.