Just because you are unhappy with your current job does not mean that you should get a new one. There are reasons to stay where you are even though you might be happier somewhere else.
- Companies increase vacation time and other benefits with time.
- Marketability increases with a stable employment history.
- Seeking a new job is stressful.
- Starting a new job is stressful.
- Changing jobs does not guarantee that you will be happier.
- Changing jobs is stressful.
As a recruiter, I need to know why people want to leave their job, because that information tells me what they would be seeking in a new job.
People change jobs, because they believe that a new job will give them things they cannot get where they are working now. For example, I left Polaroid Corporation, because I wanted to control where I live and I wanted to tie my income to my performance.
1. Location: Job seekers want more affordable housing, better climate, more appealing culture, safer conditions, better schools, a different lifestyle, or to live closer to their family.
Changing jobs and changing location takes planning and careful consideration. Both changes are stressful. Being able to interview in a different location from where you are working is difficult. As an applicant who is in a different market, you are less competitive than applicants who have the same credentials but do not have to travel to interview or move to start to work.
Some job seekers I have worked with have scheduled vacations and then tried to schedule interviews around their vacations. The better approach is to schedule interviews and then take vacation time to make those interviews. Employers conduct interviews based on their hiring needs not based on the vacation schedule job seekers.
2. Financial needs and wants: You are making less money than you need or want. As your life changes, your expenses change. You get married or divorced. You have children. You replace your car. Your household expenses increase. Your interests change. You have new things you want to do. You want a better lifestyle and more disposable income.
If you have a job, protect it with continued hard work. In your spare time, begin to research how you can find jobs that fit your skills and that pay more money immediately.
3. Fairness in the workplace: You are making less money than your coworkers who are doing the same job and have the same experience. Discussing your income with your coworkers is risky. Once you tell one coworker the amount of your income, you have enabled that person to tell other people your income.
You might take care about discussing your income with your coworkers. You might also take care about discussing the income of your coworkers with you supervisor. Some companies have policies against employees openly discussing their income inside or outside the company.
Companies can legally base income on the following factors:
- Pay grade or range
- Starting salary based on experience, prior starting salaries, and tenure in current job
The best way to get the most money for your work is to negotiate effective when you join a company to negotiate effective when your go through a performance review.
If you find that your company is simply unfair, you have a good sign that it is time for a job change.
4. Promotion: You know that you can handle greater responsibility. You supervisor may even tell you are able to do bigger things. However, even when your responsibilities change, you move laterally.
Before typing up your resume to find a job that has greater opportunities for promotion, do two things. Look at the structure of your company. Is the structure deep in layers of management or flat with few layers of management? If you are in a large company with a 5-to-1 reporting structure, your opportunities for promotion are greater than if you are in a company that has dozens of people doing the same work and reporting to one person.
Look at your contribution and your skills. Is your job performance greater than the performance of your coworkers? Are your skills better than the skills of your coworkers? If not, focus on making yourself more competitive. Do a better job and develop your skills.
5. Work-Life Balance: I had a supervisor who would say that when he and I were gone, our company would still be around. He was correct. While I give 100% of my time and energy to my job during the workday, I try to remember to give 100% of my family time to my family.
All workers have to set their own priorities work-life balance. If your job prevents you from work-life balance that is best for you and your family, you have a sign that it is time for a job change.
6. Company changes: Even companies that continue to grow year after year change in terms of their quality as an employer. In addition, companies go through downsizing, takeovers, mergers, and closings. Knowing whether to change jobs before your job disappears is obviously important. The timing may depend on the circumstances. In some cases, employees get severance packages from company acquisitions.
Company financial issues should set off alarms that you need to start looking for another job. Companies do fail to pay the money they owe, including the money they owe their employees. When your company is late making payroll, bonus payments, reimbursements for business expenses, fails to pay its share to your retirement or other benefits programs, you should try to understand why.
7. Physical safety: Some of the noblest professions in the world are physically hard: Farming, construction, fishing, military, firefighting, para-medicine, policing to name a few. Clearly when you are in a job that puts your safety at risk you might consider a job change. You might develop skills that enable you to do safer work.
8. Abuse and Discrimination: When you are a victim of abuse or when you are the target of racial, sexual, political, or religious bias, you are dealing with difficult problems.
I recommend that you speak with mentors, professionals in the area of discrimination, and perhaps with an attorney. Race, gender, politics, and religion run deep in every culture, even within subcultures. Before you charge at the people who have harmed you, consider the issues for the long-term good of your career.
I had a former client whose company fired her. She was a terrific person, and I had trouble understanding why anyone would treat her the way this company had treated her. She was the only woman in a non-clerical role in the field sales department. The company hired a man to replace her.
In her anger, she said that she was thinking about suing the company for wrongful termination. I suggested that she perhaps speak with an attorney, but carefully consider whether suing the company was in her best interest. She got professional advice as well as advice from her friends and her terrific husband.
Shortly after she left that company, she went to work for a company in a job with even greater responsibility than she had at the company where she lost her job. Where she had been traveling before, she became a director in the corporate headquarters at her new company. Her job required little or no travel. She and her husband had two children. The quality of her life improved over what it had been in her previous job. She worked at that company for 20 years. She avoided the pain of a lawsuit and moved on with her life.
The person who fired her at her previous company soon lost his job, as did the general manager of the division of the company where she worked. She was fortunate. I recommend that anyone seek excellent guidance before on issues of personal discrimination.
9. Ethics: You find that you cannot do your work, because you have ethical conflicts with the role. You feel that you cannot trust your company and its management for the products they make or services they offer. You find that you are in a position to lie or represent managers who lie. You have concerns for your reputation.
10. Relationships: Despite your efforts, you cannot get along with your supervisor or your coworkers.
Before moving on to the next job, make a list of your personal values. When you work with people who share your values, you will find you have fewer conflicts.
Then do some research on the Internet. Using social and business networks, you can learn a great deal about the people at a company. When preparing for an interview, ask people you trust what they know about people and the culture at the company where you are interviewing.