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When is the Right Time to Change Job?

23.02.2015

When is the Right Time to Change Job?

Working in the recruitment industry, one of the most interesting questions I get to ask people starting the search for a new job is: “why do you go to work?”

Working in the recruitment industry, one of the most interesting questions I get to ask people starting the search for a new job is: “why do you go to work?”

The initial response usually includes something along the line of: “because I have to”, but once you dig a little deeper, what seems like a straight forward question often has a much more complex answer.

In truth, if you feel ready for a change it’s crucial you find out why before you move on. Without knowing what makes you tick, or identifying why you’re unhappy, you run the very real risk of swapping one unrewarding job for another.

Happy employees equal a more productive and effective business, and from an employer’s point of view a great staff member is one who’s engaged, ambitious, confident, honest, hard-working, driven, takes responsibility and importantly, fits with the organisational culture.

These are all ingredients that will help you climb the career ladder, so when considering your future, why not start by thinking about whether you meet these traits on a daily basis within your current role; and if the answer is no, maybe it is time to ask yourself a few more searching questions, like:

  • How did you come to be in your current role, was it on purpose or by chance?
  • When returning from holidays are you relaxed and raring to get back to work?
  • Do you agree with the organisation’s vision and mission?
  • In your opinion, is the business heading in the right direction?
  • Are your personal values and beliefs aligned with those of the company?
  • Do you respect and admire your boss?
  • Do you trust and enjoy working with your colleagues?
  • Are you regularly learning new skills, gaining experience and being challenged?
  • Do you feel valued or taken for granted?
  • Are you happy with the amount of money you’re making?
  • Is there opportunity for growth and career progression in the near future?
  • Do you get enough time to spend with your family and friends?
  • Are you often stressed and unhappy?
  • Is what you’re doing moving you closer to your long-term personal goals?
  • Do you and those closest to you think you are fulfilling your potential?

The first time I meet someone looking for a new challenge, it’s my responsibility – and in everyone’s best interest – to offer unbiased advice and help them evaluate what they’re getting out of work versus what they’d like to get.

It’s important not to be too hard on yourself when doing this, because work is never going to be as much fun as spending time with your family and friends, but you do need to make sure you’re happy and moving in the right direction.

Sometimes that means thinking about why you go to work in a different way. Perhaps ranking your motivations on a scale of importance, or simply chatting openly and honestly about what it is that you’re passionate about and, as a result, what success looks like to you.

If frustrations are internal, or simply money related, the first step I’d suggest is to have the courage to address them with your employer, giving them the opportunity to change things.

If the issues are more deep-rooted, or nothing changes, then sometimes it is you that will have to make the change and move on.

If that’s the case, you might also have to accept that making a change will take you outside of your comfort zone, but as they say, “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”.

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