Is it time for me to change jobs?
We’ve all reached that point where the thought of changing jobs has crossed our mind. I believe we all then ask ourselves the same question, is this the right decision for me?
It’s never easy making this choice. It can get overwhelming at times and we all could use some help to point us to the right direction. Let me share with you 5 questions to ask yourself, that will help you make the right decision.
1.What are the REAL reasons you want to switch your job?
Stop and ask yourself this – “Is the reason I want to change jobs genuine, or reactive?”
Getting a telling off from your boss, seeing the newbie promoted, or feeling like you’re drowning in admin are all real issues, but they aren’t a solid reason to throw in the towel. These are common challenges in the workplace, and there’s a high chance you might encounter this type of issue in your next job. If it happens yet again, will you move on again?
Probably a better question to think about is “what do I hope to achieve in my career, and is my workplace allowing me to do this? Make a list, based on your career goals, life plans and current priorities, of advantages and disadvantages to staying in your current role, versus leaving for a potential new role. See which outweighs which. If your current role isn’t meeting those needs, then this could be a genuine reason to start your job hunt.
2. Is what you’re searching for attainable in your current organisation/business?
The career progression you might be looking for could just be right under your nose, you just have to ask. Before you start looking elsewhere, have you asked your current employer for developmental opportunities? A lot of the time, management will want to retain the people within their organisation, promoting from within rather than hiring someone externally.
The question now should be, “Have you discussed your career plans with your current manager?” Much of the time, being proactive may lead to an opportunity. Answering question number 1 is your starting point, and then don’t be afraid to discuss your career goals, and seek advice from your leader as to what might be available now, or in the future at your current workplace.
3. Do you have a plan for landing your next role?
As courageous as you may be, do you have a realistic plan of how you’re getting to your next role? While money isn’t the only motivator for changing jobs, it’s important to be realistic and consider your current situation; your rent or mortgage, dependent family members and other living expenses. Finding a new job can take time, and you have to consider factors like notice periods, and pay cycles, so be smart about your decisions. Handing in your resignation when you are not yet certain another job is in the bag, might not be a sensible decision. Make sure you are financially stable enough to leave your current role.
4. Is this the right time to make the move?
Alright! So you have identified a genuine reason to leave. You’ve explored all opportunities within the organisation and you are financially stable to support yourself moving to another job. What’s next? For most of us who are ready to make the move, the timing doesn’t always cross our minds, but making a misstep can lead to difficulties. Firstly, you need to think about the external job market. For example, hiring generally tends to slow down before Christmas— are you comfortable leaving, or starting a new job at that time? Or, if you work in finance, the end of the financial year is very busy with activity— but not always recruitment. You also need to think about internal timing. I am not suggesting you wait forever, but being considerate about completing projects etc. can cast you in a positive light. When you are ready to move, my suggestion is discuss with your immediate manager your resignation, and agree with a plan for you to do your handover. The biggest message here is that, you don’t want to “burn bridges”. Always make sure that you are leaving on a good note. You are a professional and it’s important to carry that professionalism right up to your last day.
5. Have you sought advice?
The more you think about changing jobs, the more things can get a bit confusing. We now start to think about our career path, circumstances, current job opportunities, different sectors and industries, age, family and personal priorities. All of these considerations can make it difficult to achieve a clear picture of what’s ahead. This is when it’s an ideal time to get a different perspective; a discussion with a close friend, family members, a trusted colleague/manager or even a recruiter (ahem?! ahem!!) can be very helpful. A third party perspective can help you realise a different point of view, and you will be able to reaffirm, or adjust, any decisions.
Recruiters are well equipped with market intel and career development opportunities. We also truly understand the complexities of job hunting! If you have a company in mind, a good recruiter can also provide you with relevant information about what it’s really like working for that organisation. Recruiters are a great resource, as we’ll always be able to provide both an employer and employee point of view, giving you insights into any role you are aiming for.
If you have answered all of these questions, decided a change is necessary, you have the financial means to support yourself, and you’ve explored all internal job avenues, then you are now well informed to make a decision—all you need to do now is kick your job hunt into action! I hope this article helps, and I wish you the best of luck on with your job search.
Of course, if you are job hunting, don’t forget to check the Madison jobs page for our latest vacant roles, or if feel free to get in touch with me for a confidential discussion.