I recently had a good friend share with me that she was looking to make a career change, as morale and job satisfaction were floundering at her current employer/company. Although I felt compassion for her situation, I immediately asked, “So what’s next?” (I’m a firm believer that action, not words, delivers results, especially when things aren’t going well.).
My friend, who never misses the opportunity to draw out the business consultant in me, immediately shot back with, “What advice Mr. Consultant would you give me for changing jobs, and is now the right time to make a move, or am I just being petty?”
Here’s the advice I shared:
Look before you leap… It’s critically important to have a great job (not just a job) before you leave a job. When anyone is ready to leave their existing company there’s a tendency for everything that’s available to look as those it’s greener pastures (and we all know how so untrue that can be). When leaving a company we tend to find a job/company that offers something better in those troubling areas, not realizing that there were some perks to your current position that are now alarmingly gone with you new employer. So although you gained in some ways with your new job, you end up losing in others, which usually leads to making another career move in the near term, or worse is being even more unsatisfied or downright miserable in your new job .
So my advice is to find an opportunity and really vet it out to see if it’s not just ‘better’ but really what you want long-term and a good fit for you, your personality, your finances (compensation & holidays/vacation) and your career goals. Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, all too often people are so ready to leave their existing job/situation that they fail to really evaluate what’s next, and is it the right move for you (before leaping) then end up frustrated again or in a worse job environment than where they just left. It’s simple enough but we encourage you to make a list of what’s most important to you in a position, job and company because those are likely things that aren’t negotiable and would be show-stoppers at a new company. Then make a list of what you Like & Dislike at your current position/company, so that you compare apples to apples when you look for a new career/company.
Do not let others help make your decision. Other’s inputs are great to hear and consider, but at the end of the day it’s YOUR decision and you need to make the right decision for YOU. I’ve seen too many times friends influence a person’s decision to leave one job and they are beyond miserable in the move, when they knew deep down that they had concerns.
Don’t be surprised if you come to the conclusion that although your current job/firm isn’t the greatest, it may still be better than what’s currently out there in the market. Doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever but now might not be the right time to make a move.
Hope you found this insight to be helpful.
All the best,
Dennis Hough, Founder – Affirm Consulting