Thinking about changing jobs? Take a moment to think again.
It happens to the best of us. After a slow day, a bad week or a frustrating month, it can be very tempting to think about changing jobs and looking elsewhere – and by all means look – but do take a moment to consider if actually moving jobs is what you want to do. In today’s competitive market, searching for a new role can be very demanding, so are there actions you can take to make your current situation that dream job?
The first step is to ask yourself why? Why do you think changing jobs helps you progress in your career? Why are you not happy at work? Why do you think the solution lies in a new job? Some answers may surprise you!
1. You’re Bored
When your days are mundane, you’re feeling unchallenged, and you spend your working day clock watching, you may start thinking about moving on. However, there is no guarantee that a new role will save you from feeling bored, and there is just as much chance that despite changing jobs a new environment can be found with your existing work place. Have you spoken to your line manager? Although you would hope they would notice that you are ready for a new challenge, life can get in the way, so arrange a meeting; explain that you are ready for more work, new training, the next step. Companies much prefer to utilise their existing talent pool to cover additional work and love to promote from within; just one conversation could help them help you!
2. You Think You Can Make More Money
You’re in the pub with friends, someone turns out to have a similar job at a similar firm, and lets it drop that they make quite a bit more than you. Your first thought is probably that you should be changing jobs. Firstly, they could just be exaggerating (we’ve been there too) but applying for a new job just to reach another pay band could be a risk. Be realistic, do some research and check what the salary range might be for someone with your skills, qualifications, experience and geography – you may be surprised (either way). Have a look at your work and successes over the past six months – do you think you are underpaid? If so, book a meeting with your line manager to talk about a raise. Could you have been doing more to warrant a rise? Put the effort in.
3. Your Commute is Too Long
While many people are driven away from where they work by housing prices, it’s natural to get sick of a lengthy commute. Rather than trying to find something closer to home, which is unlikely if you’ve moved away from a city centre, you can try to negotiate to work from home a few days a week, or even change your hours so you work over four days rather than five. By law, any member of staff with 26 weeks of service, may make a request for flexible working within a 12-month period. It must be considered by your company and can only be rejected on certain grounds. See ACAS for more information http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1616
4. You’re Making Other Changes
While you’re caught in the frenzy of buying a house, planning a wedding, or bringing home a baby, it may seem like the perfect time to overhaul everything so you can finally have the picture perfect life you dreamed of. While you should never stop chasing that dream life, if you’re in the midst of some monumental changes, having some job stability and a regular salary is far more appealing than chasing the excitement of another change. Be sensible, and make this kind of critical decision with a clear head and truly consider whether you want to be changing jobs at this stage in time.
5. You’ve Spent Less Than a Year with the Business
Some positions you may know instantly are not right for you, but often you need time to settle into a new role and a new company. If the role is in the field you like and want a career in, it might be better to stay for at least a year to find out the options available in the industry and get the experience to get there. Also, if you have too many short roles without adequate explanation, it will be a red flag to a future employer. If you still want to change job after a year, then by all means go for it – but always try to hit that 12-month mark before you start looking around.
Obviously, there are times when looking for a new role and moving companies will be the right choice for you, but do bear in mind the possibilities that you might be able to find within your existing role. Employers do not want to lose their best employees, but equally they will not be as focussed on your career as you are so do take the time to speak to them and get that win-win.