Time for a Job Change?
the start of a new year, you may be among the millions
of people thinking of making an important change in
your life. If one of the changes you are considering
is your career, here is some advice to help you decide
whether to make the move.
changers leave because they no longer enjoy their work.
If your job is a source of dissatisfaction, the signs
are probably clear.
of dread may start creeping over you every Sunday evening
as the work week approaches. While you once bounced
out of bed on Monday mornings eager to get to the office,
you may now find yourself hitting the snooze bar as
many times as possible.
of calling in sick may cross your mind. In fact, going
to work may actually make you sick. (More heart attacks
occur on Monday mornings than at any other time of the
job is no longer something you enjoy, you are not alone.
A Wall Street Journal-ABC News poll found that half
of all workers polled would choose a new line of work
if they had the chance. So why don't more people quit
to John W. Thibaut and Harold H. Kelley, authors of
The Social Psychology of Groups, some people will stay
in an unsatisfactory situation because they do not see
themselves as having alternatives.
In an economic
downturn, such as we are experiencing now, employees
are less likely to consider leaving. According to the
World at Work survey conducted recently by Adecco Employment
Services, 53% of employees say it's harder to find a
job now compared to five years ago. However, the same
survey found that 58% of employers say they actually
have more highly sought jobs to offer today.
many employees are held back by "golden handcuffs,"
meaning they are so well compensated - through salary,
company stocks, pensions, or other benefits - they believe
they cannot afford to quit their job. Faced with a mortgage,
other financial commitments, and people who depend on
them, an employee shackled with golden handcuffs may
fear leaving their job will lead to financial loss.
if you are close to retirement, it may be better to
stick it out so you can collect your pension. However,
for many people a new job often goes hand in hand with
a higher salary, which could make up for lost benefits.
And even if a new job means taking a step back financially,
it may be worth it.
the choice, your loved ones would probably prefer
to have more time with you, and see you less stressed,
even if it meant scaling back your lifestyle.
you march into your boss's office and announce "I quit,"
there may be other options. If you enjoyed your job
at one time, but have become dissatisfied with it lately,
you may be able to boost your job satisfaction without
leaving your current employer.
one reason people decide to change jobs is because they
have become bored with their work. Yet boredom can be
a natural consequence of mastering your job. When you
first started your job, you probably found your work
challenging and interesting as you were learning how
to do it. As you learned more, your challenge was to
become an expert. Once you became an expert, the challenge
of moving, why not see if you can take on new challenges
in your current workplace. Most employers realize it
is costly to replace good employees, and will do what
they can to keep them. Talking with your boss about
why you are dissatisfied may lead to a solution. You
may be able to move to a new position in your organization,
or take on new tasks in your present position.
problem isn't a lack of challenge, but exactly the opposite
(too much stress and too little family time) you may
want to consider a completely different type of career
change - moving down. For example, if you loved the
frontline job you had before becoming a manager, you
may be able to reduce your stress and resume working
regular hours by returning to a frontline position.
problem is not the work itself, but the people you work
with, start by looking at whether this is a common pattern.
If you have had serious problems with your boss or co-workers
in almost every job you've had, chances are you will
eventually experience the same problems no matter where
politics or personality differences exist in virtually
all organizations. It may be easier to learn more effective
ways of dealing with these issues, rather than trying
to find a workplace where they don't exist. Furthermore,
most employers prefer candidates with a stable job history,
so changing jobs too often can affect your future career
is the main issue, consider asking for a raise or additional
benefits. It's a good idea to research salaries for
similar positions in your industry, so you have some
concrete data to show your boss. Even more important
is quantifying the value you bring to your employer
(for example, showing how much revenue you have brought
in or how much you have saved the company).
are not able to find a solution with your current employer,
then it may be time for a change. Assuming you work
an average of 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for
50 years, you will spend 100,000 hours at work. You
deserve to spend most of that time doing something rewarding
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