Leaving Your Job

People change jobs for a multitude of reasons which cause them stress and concern. Let's face it… job equals security. It can be a daunting task to make a decision to leave an employer. You are comfortable in your current environment, you have made close friends, and your day to day regimen becomes comfortable. But you are not making enough money, you are bored, you have opportunities in other fields, you are not appreciated…the list goes on and on. Are you ready for a change? Is it the right time? Below are a few things to think about before you send your resignation letter and jump ship at your current job. Listen closely……

1. Money Meltdown: If you can't meet your monthly bills from your current paycheck, after taxes, each month (which include your rent/mortgage, utilities, auto payment and insurance, food, medical insurance and other basic necessities, it's time to move on. Being able to pay all of your bills in a timely fashion, while having some money left over to save, invest or even splurge, is ideal. If you live pay check to pay check you should rethink your current position and determine whether switching careers or movement within your company is feasible.

2. Are you Happy: On your way to work each day you should ask yourself are you happy? Do you enjoy your career? Your current job? Your superiors? The day to day tasks completed? If so, changing careers is not in your cards. However, if you are miserable and dread work every single day, you are certainly a candidate for leaving. Studies prove you spend more time at work than you do with your family. If you are unhappy during the time spent at work you need to make a move… and quick!

3. Are there growth opportunities? Can you move up in the ranks at your current company? Are you bored and stagnant in your job? Ask yourself where do you see yourself in one year if you remain with your present employer? Is your company growing and can you grow along side? Pay attention to the economy and employment trends that can affect your job and job search. If you believe there is no room for growth it is time to make a change.

What's Next?

If you now have decided that a job change is necessary look at it as an opportunity for growth. Here's your chance to advance professionally and move closer to your career objective, or to redirect your skills and experience. Make sure you're on track, take a moment to write down your strong points as well as your employment preferences.

Ask yourself:

• What are my strengths?

• What do I really enjoy doing? You may need to seek an employment specialist to determine your target employers if you are having trouble deciding on a specific career.

• How do I want to spend my day in an office, on the road, outdoors? Get clear on your location.

• What type of work can I get the most satisfaction from while still earning sufficient income? You may have to read, read, read, to get this answer. Books, the internet and classes at your local college can all help inform you about how to maximize your strengths and, consequently, your earning power.

• Am I willing to commute? If so, how far?

• Do I like to work with people, computers, books, animals, plants?

• Is my resume up-to-date? If not, hire a professional to maximize your strengths.

• What type of benefits are you looking for from your new job? Do they have retirement packages, matching programs, medical and life insurance?

Remember your job change does not have to be a distressing experience. In today's world, it is commonplace for people to change jobs and careers more than once in their lifetime. In fact, it's always a good idea to be improving your skills so that you will be an attractive candidate for a new job, whether it's within your company or with a different employer. That way, you'll be in a position to make exciting and advantageous career moves in the future because you want to, not because you have to. Good luck! Don't be afraid. Take risks! Enjoy the rewards!

Moving Cities

Starting a new career in a new city, or simply moving your present career to a new city, can be both exciting and challenging. No matter what your personality, you will inevitably find yourself stressed-out at some point, trying to adapt to all the newness that surrounds you. From learning a new public transportation system to meeting new colleagues, the transition may start out with a couple of stress-inducing bumps. Following some of these simple tips will undoubtedly ease the transition and make you feel like a native in no time:

Before You Move…

• Packing Up! With stringent airline baggage policies, packing up your personal belongings, and shipping them in advance, will prevent you from airport hassles. If you are moving to a building with a doorman, you can often ship your boxes ahead of you, so that when you arrive, your effects are waiting for you. If you are too busy to actually move yourself, there are companies such as (perfectpackers.com) that will come to your home, pack it up for you and move it. While these services may be pricey, for many, it is well worth it to avoid the hassle. No matter which you choose, be sure to allot yourself, and the movers, enough time so that you arrive when your boxes arrive.

• Tell Them You're Leaving! Be sure to notify your post office of your new address so that all mail can be forwarded expeditiously. Also, be sure to notify your credit card companies, cell phone carriers and any other such entities of your new address and contact information so that your services are not frozen or disconnected.

• Get Familiar With Your New Area! Before you move, take the time to research your new neighborhood. Look for your closest food store, dry cleaner, bank, post office, drug store, doctor, etc. Being able to move in and immediately access all of your necessities without having to search the entire city is invaluable.

Transfer Your Workout! Many gyms, especially those located in major cities, are franchises that can be found throughout the nation. Before you leave your home city, be sure to visit your gym and have your membership modified or transferred, so upon arriving in your new city, you are ready to workout and de-stress.

Don't Be Afraid To Be A Tourist! Pick up your new city's travel guide (Access or Frommer's are terrific) before you leave home. It is a great way to pass the time on the plane, and a fantastic way to orient yourself with your new city before you even arrive.

Once You Get There…

Vroom, Vroom! Most states require you to change your driver's license within sixty (60) days of moving to your new city. Be sure to put the dreaded DMV on your "to-do" list, or risk hefty fines if pulled over.

• Get Lost! Be sure to allot yourself a day to simply go out and get lost. Exploring the city, without knowing where you are going, is the best way to find great stores, restaurants and bars that are off the beaten path.

• Immerse, Immerse, Immerse! Take the time to look up local events and happenings in your city and in surrounding communities. Not only is this a great way to experience the culture and vibrancy your city has to offer, but it's a great way to relax, have fun and meet new people.

• What's Your Personal Stress Relief? Whether it's working out, taking a dance class, reading or perhaps a little retail therapy, make sure you give yourself the downtime you need to relax and recharge.

• Get Involved! Find a local volunteer group or community organization to become involved with. Not only is volunteering a great way to meet new, like-minded people, it's also good for the soul.

• Watch out for Houseguests! Moving to a new city definitely makes you a hot commodity for family and friends looking to travel and for a free place to stay. While having visitors is a great cure for any lingering homesickness, it is definitely a surefire way to pack on the stress.

Vikki S. Ziegler, Esq., is a partner at the prestigious law firm of Walder Hayden & Brogan P.A. specializing in the area of matrimonial law.

She is the innovator of a unique and realistic approach to "divorce management," and is a renowned expert and television commentator on national and international high-profile cases and legal issues. Ziegler is a member of the Passaic County, Essex County and New Jersey State Bar Associations, as well as the Northern New Jersey and Family Law Inns of Court. Over the course of her career, Ziegler has been nominated and appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to the District XI Ethics Committee for Passaic County, as well as to the Child Custody and Parenting Committee of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. In 2006, she was selected as one of the "Top 40 Lawyers under 40" by the New Jersey Law Journal and followed by the same recognition in 2007 by New Jersey Business News. Since 2002, Ziegler has served as an Early Settlement Panelist in Passaic, Morris and Essex Counties, assisting with recommendations for divorce settlement solutions.

• For more career tips and advice, check out the rest of our career section >>