While it is never much fun to look for a job, it is far less enjoyable when you're unemployed. When you are out on your own, you are not as squarely on the radar screen of recruiters, and you may have an air of desperation about you that can be pretty unattractive to a potential employer. It is a far better strategy to start your job search early - and interview from a position of stability than to wait until you "need the job". Here are five warning signs that it is time to dust off the Rolodex and update your resume.
1.You report to the CFO now, not to the CEO. Once the CEO restructures and puts you under finance, he or she is sending a clear sign that IT is not strategic; it's a cost centre. Unless cutting budgets and watching your pennies is your thing, it is probably time to get out.
2.Your company is on the block. If the parent company announces its intention to sell your division, your future will most likely take one of three paths: 1) in the typical cost-cutting that happens before a sale, you will be asked to downsize your organization, 2) you will be asked to take a package and leave yourself, or 3) once the sale takes place, you will be replaced by the CIO of the acquiring company. Of course, it is possible that the sale of your division will provide new opportunities for you in the acquiring company, but it is better to have a job search under way as you wait to find out.
3.You're a turnaround CIO in maintenance mode. When I talk with CIOs who are ready to make a move, I often hear them say: "I fixed everything and now I'm bored." If you, like so many CIOs, are a change addict who gains gratification from bringing order to chaos, it is time to move on when you've steadied the ship and can put it on auto-pilot. In the best of circumstances, once you've turned around an organization, you are in a position to innovate and help grow the company. However, not every company can invest in enough technology-driven innovation to keep you challenged, and not every CIO can handle slow, incremental growth. If you love a big mess, go find another one.
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