September 1, 2014

Why change jobs?

Is it really that bad?

Should I be looking for a new job?

Candidates seek out new employment opportunities for many reasons. Most of the time the reasons are valid and well considered. But sometimes candidates make decisions that can come back to haunt them. We have tried to present a list of good and not-so-good reasons to make a change. Of course, everyone is in a unique situation. But in general, this is what we have seen over the years, involving thousands of people, that lead to better or poorer career choices.

Good Reasons (generally in order of importance to most candidates)

  1. Career advancement. This is the primary reason most people change jobs. They either want greater opportunity for advancement and their company can’t provide it, or an absolutely irresistible opportunity comes along out of the blue, and they can’t pass it up. Advancement opportunity is often over-sold in the candidate interview. This is something the candidate should discuss fully in the job interview.
  2. Work environment. This can mean different things to different people. It may mean less stressful conditions due to deadlines or pressure. It could also mean more manageable hours, fewer week-ends or flex time. Or it could simply mean a friendlier atmosphere.
  3. Challenge. This typically means greater mental or technical stimulation. People like to feel that they are learning new skills. This can provide them with greater market value or it can simply be more intellectually satisfying. Either way, this is very important to most people to maintain happiness in the job.
  4. Appreciation. This is often confused with poor compensation. When one feels underpaid, it is usually a sign of under-appreciation. Someone can be making below market for the work they do, but may receive other forms of appreciation that compensates for being underpaid. But if one feels unappreciated, more money is only a temporary fix. Under-appreciation leads to lack of motivation and poor performance. This usually results in poor reviews, even smaller or perhaps no raises, and even further damage to motivation. This spiral will only continue until you put the old resume together.
  5. Stability. When people perceive that they are losing career stability, they want more of it. When people are confident in their career choices, stability is less important. During a recession, stability is often the ONLY factor in consideration. During economic growth it is often not a consideration at all.
  6. Location. Commutes, work locations, safety, schools and even climate can effect one’s decision to look for a new job.

Poor Reasons (in our opinion these reasons alone may lead to poor job-change decisions):

  1. Greater compensation. Remember, money alone is only a motivator for a very short time. If you are enticed away from your job, which you otherwise enjoy, for simply more money, you may become very unhappy with the decision in as little as 2-3 months. You should select your next job based one or more of the criteria above, such as advancement, environment, or challenge, and not just based on compensation.
  2. Relationship with your boss. This can be very difficult for people, but a bad relationship with your boss is usually not enough alone to leave a company. If everything else is positive, such as environment, challenge, career advancement, the relationship issues can usually be worked out or improved overtime. However, if it is so bad that it is affecting your performance, advancement, and overall sense of well being, it may be time to call it a day. But try the honest communicative approach first.
  3. Relationship with co-worker. The thing is, there are mean people everywhere, and sometimes it is best to just stick it out. Usually, these people are unhappy themselves and their time with the company may be short. Don’t make a decision to leave a good job, with many positive attributes, just because of some creep you work with. Try to make the situation better, work things out, seek a compromise, or as a last resort, seek help from a human resource representative. But quit? No. This is often just what they want. Don’t give it to them.
  4. Impending events. We have seen so many cases of people who panic when they hear of some impending event, such as a merger, or layoffs. But these often lead to even greater opportunities. It is our view that one should take a breath, gather information, talk to management, and wait, just a little while, before making what could be viewed as a very hasty decision.
  5. Boredom. Wow. When we hear this, RED FLAGS!!!! Most of the time, and this is probably 95 times out of 100, if you are suffering from boredom, IT’S YOUR FAULT. And changing jobs won’t fix it. It will only transfer to a new company. Honestly. If you are bored with your job, don’t call us. Get help and fix the problem where you are.
  6. A recruiter calls with the perfect job for you. Ok, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this how we make a living at Elite Network? The answer is NO! We don’t try to find people the “perfect job”. It doesn’t exist. If you get a call out of the blue from some recruiter you have never even met, with a fantastic sounding job, you should ask yourself one question. “How does he know what is perfect for me?” We feel strongly that one needs to have a clearly defined motivation to be considering new opportunities, for reasons like we’ve listed above, before you get all excited about some sales pitch. A good recruiter will want to know WHY you are interested in making a change, before you consider new opportunities. They will want to know what you are looking for in the next career move. They will want to evaluate your expectations to be sure they are realistic. Only then are they prepared to help you.