I fall into a unique age bracket where some people consider me to be a millennial and others consider me a member of Generation X, point being, I kept my first job out of college for nearly 13 years and that makes me a bit of an oddity. So, as you can imagine the choice to start exploring other opportunities was a daunting one. Speaking from my experience, below are some things to evaluate when deciding whether or not changing jobs is the right decision for you.
Are You Happy?
Honestly, this made the top of my list because just recently I ran into someone I worked with in my previous career who asked if I was happy now that I have made a career change. My guess is the question came from her assumption that I wasn’t happy which led to my decision to make the change I did. This seems like a fair analysis, but there are so many components of a career that can make you happy or unhappy. Leadership, job duties, compensation, etc.
According to the AgCareers.com Candidate Motivation and Behavior Survey, dissatisfaction with their boss or supervisor has a high level of correlation to the likelihood of that person changing jobs. The same question shows that satisfaction with coworkers appears to have less impact on employees searching for another job. I will say for me, this was one of the things that kept me happy for many years in my career. I felt committed to my teammates as much as I did my supervisors. But when you reach a point when you are no longer happy with the direction of leadership, your compensation, or the day to day tasks of your job, then it is probably time to explore a change.
What does the future look like for you? Have you reached a point where your career ladder has maxed out? While the career ladder doesn’t have to be a vertical path upward, it does need to keep moving and you need to be challenged. If you don’t see a future in your organization that is keeping you challenged and you’ve taken measures to seek more responsibility or explore options internally and nothing is changing, then this may be a sign that it is time to consider changing jobs. Don’t let work become monotonous…life is too short to work a boring job every day.
Options and Timeline
What are your options? In my case, I had a unique situation. I had a pretty unique job and skill set, I worked remotely, and lived in a small town with nearly an hour commute ahead of me if I were to transition to an office job. Because I knew finding just the right opportunity was going to take time, I started looking about three years before I made the move I did. My options were limited and while my network was large, it wasn’t made of career Houdini’s.
I was like Goldie Locks in the tale of the porridge job search. How could I find the right fit? And where are the job boards full of listings for telecommuting options? Something that wasn’t a step backwards on the career jungle gym, was a fair step forward in compensation, and challenging work! Sometimes you have to weigh out your options and have patience. And maybe while you’re waiting, you’ll find out you really are happy and the future doesn’t look so grim. Point being, you may want to give yourself some time especially if your options may be limited.
For some people, changing jobs comes easily. Maybe they are approached with an opportunity that they can’t turn down and based on their situation, it may be time to move on. But for others, it’s a big decision that only comes around maybe once or twice in a career. Regardless, there are lots of factors to consider make sure you are weighing all your options.
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