How to Downsize Your Own Job
Downsizing means reducing aspects of a job like pay, hours, stress and responsibility. The term downsizing is usually used in the context of an organization reducing the number of staff members it has but it can also be used on an individual level. Downsizing your own job can mean that you are looking for a new job that is less intense or demanding than the one you currently have. in terms of you looking for a new job that is less intense than the one you currently have. If you are thinking of downsizing, consider your reasons for downsizing and what you would like out of a new job.
Determining What You Want Out of a New Job
Determine whether or not you can survive on a small income.If you want a job with less stress and fewer hours, chances are you will also be getting paid less. Calculate your monthly outgoings (how much you spend) and see if there are any cutbacks in spending you are willing to make.
- For example you may find you don’t need your monthly gym membership as you don’t have the time to go anyway. Decide on a final figure for your minimum monthly income so that you can tailor your job search to that specific need.
Think about why you want to downsize.Thinking about what you dislike about your current job can help you to determine what you want in a new job. Do you want to downsize your entire job, or are there just some parts of it that need to change? Do you like what you do, but wish you could work part-time rather than full-time?
- Asking yourself these questions will help you tailor your job search (which will be covered in the next section).
- Are looking for a less stressful job.
- Are looking for a job where they can work fewer hours.
- Are hoping to work part-time rather than full-time.
Decide whether you want to look for a job at the company you are working for currently.If you like your company, you may want to consider looking for openings within your company. If you would like to be part-time rather than full-time, find out if your company has a job sharing initiative. Talk with your boss, and just like if you were looking for a promotion, state your interest in taking a new role. However, explain why you want to move ‘down’ or ‘sideways’ on the job ladder instead of further up.
- Explain the circumstances that are making you want to downsize, such as a new baby or a sick parent who you want to care for. Being honest will help your boss to understand what you want and why.
Running a Job Search
Start a general job search to get an idea of what positions are available.When you begin thinking about downsizing, take some time to explore the job market and see what positions are available. This is particularly important to do if you are thinking about changing industries.
- Run online searches through job search engines.
- Talk to people working in the industry you would like to try out.
- Set up meetings with a job counselor to discuss your options.
Tailor your job search to match your specific needs.Once you have an idea of the kind of jobs that are available, begin a more specific job search based on the aspects of your desired job and how much you would like to downsize. While searching, keep in mind things like:
- Contract type.
Research the companies that you think you may apply to.When you find a job posting that you are interested in, take the time to look at the company. While the job posting may sound intriguing, if the company comes across as inflexible or incompatible with the reasons you are downsizing in the first place, you may consider looking for a job elsewhere.
- Read the company’s mission statement, history, and any other information you can find about them. If possible, talk with someone who has worked or is working at the company.
Analyze your skills and your passions.You might find that you have transferable skills for a number of new positions. If you are not sure if you have the right skills for a specific job, consider looking into short term and temporary contracts in your desired field.
- These short-term jobs can give you an idea of what it is like to work in that industry and help you to determine if you have the right skills.
Consider freelancing as an option for downsizing.If you don’t mind moving companies but would like to stay in your current industry, you should consider looking for freelance jobs. Freelancing can give you the freedom to control how much work you take on and how much you charge, which could help reduce stress and time constraints.
Applying for a Downsized Job
Rewrite your resume to help you downsize.Once you have found a few jobs you would like to apply for, you will have to rewrite your resume to suit these jobs. If you are staying in your same industry but are hoping to move down on the totem pole, consider rewriting your resume so that it only contains the skills and experience that are relevant to your specific job.
- You can consider leaving out more demanding or prestigious positions you have held if they do not particularly apply to the position. Doing this will help you to avoid being labeled “overqualified”.
Create a resume based on your transferable skills.If you are thinking about making a move into a completely different industry, you should tailor your essay so that it reflects all of your transferable skills (skills that you picked up in your current industry that also apply to the industry you are applying to).
- Again, only focus on experience that is relevant to the job, even if it means leaving out more prestigious experience.
Apply for more than one job at a time.Applying to several different jobs at once can help increase your chances of getting hired. While it can be time consuming, tailoring your resume and (if needed) cover letter to the specific job you are applying for is very important.
- Take time to very carefully read the job description and write your cover letter based on what is listed in the description.
Attend interviews.If you are requested to appear for an interview, think of it as both a step towards getting a job, and a way to make sure that the company is compatible with your reasons for downsizing. Make sure to bring a copy of your important documents, like your resume or examples of your work.
- When going to the interview, dress in clothes that are suitable for the job role; business casual is standard, unless the company is very prestigious, or you are applying for a job that requires you to wear a specific set of clothes (like hiking boots for the position of a park ranger).
Be honest with your potential employer about your reasons for applying to the job.If the job you are interviewing for is significantly less challenging or demanding than your last job, it is important to explain your reasons for applying, particularly if the salary is also much less. Sharing your personal reasons will help your potential employer to understand. For example, discussing the fact that you want to spend time with your kids, or would prefer to work in a less stressful environment, will help the interviewer to understand your reasons.
- Be gracious in your interview and take care not to come across as ‘overqualified’ or like this job is beneath your skill levels, as it most likely won’t impress the employer if they think you are looking at this as an easy job or ‘a step down’ from your current position.
Take the plunge.Once you get a job offer, double check the salary, contract, benefits and policies to make sure this is the right move for you. Be sure to accept this offer and obtain a starting date before you tell your current job. When resigning, be sure to follow the company’s policies and remain professional.
Video: Couple Starts Van Life After Quitting Their Jobs & Downsizing to a Minimalist Camper Van
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