Employer/employee loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Unlike in the past, today’s workers cannot expect to stay with one company for their entire work life. More and more, people are finding that the best way to advance their careers and increase their salaries is to gain experience at one job and then use that as a springboard to a better position somewhere else. There are a wide variety of reasons to think about taking a new job aside from making more money. Just make sure you are ready to trade in the comfort you have from what you already know in your current position, any seniority you have earned, and your current level of job security for the list of unknowns that comes with a new job. Even so, a new job can be highly rewarding. With the right preparation and insight, you can choose the proper time to take a new job with plenty of advantages and little downside.
Despite the decline in workplace loyalty, be careful not to job hop too frequently. Companies have to put in a considerable investment of time and money into hiring and training new employees. While you might have put together an impressive list of skills gained from training at several jobs, employers will be cautious to hire you if your record shows you will only stick around for a year or so. If you are unable to fit your current five-year job history on one printed page, it might be time to hold back. Most millennials stay in their jobs an average of two to five years, and you could use this as a guide when deciding how long is long enough.
A good economy usually leads to better job opportunities with better pay. In strong economic times, the job market makes transitions that greatly benefit job hopping. Wages and opportunities increase abundantly. Likewise, a poor economy forces people to stay put in their jobs for fear that opportunities are too sparse with too little chance to find another new job if a new opportunity fails to work out. If you took your current job during a recession, there is a good chance that your pay started low and has remained somewhat stagnant. Once the economy is looking bearish again, it could be time to search for a new job opportunity with huge financial potential. Start your search by browsing jobs at Gig.com.
As I mentioned before, money and career advancement are not the only reasons for taking a new job. Maybe there is a bad situation at your current company that would not exist at a new job. Be honest with yourself here and be sure that you are not part of the problem. Otherwise, you might just take the problem that you are trying to escape with you. But, if your boss is fraternizing with your co-worker and you are left dealing with the fallout, it is probably time to jump on a new opportunity.
Taking a new job could also mean taking a step up the management ladder, whether in your current company or in another. A move like this is going to come with certain perks, especially in the bank account, but nothing is free. You will have new responsibilities and demands on your time. Be sure you and your loved ones are ready. Especially when making the jump from hourly to salary, many companies will demand your availability 24/7. How will your spouse react to those 4:00 AM conference calls with a European customer or the evening email sessions? Be sure to have that discussion and prepare a plan that will help you and your family make the transition before simply jumping in to a new job with greater demands.
Life changes and sometimes that requires taking a new job. Whether you just got married, had a new birth or adoption, or need to move closer to help take care of your parents, a new job might be necessary. For example, a move into a new house could increase your commute to the point where you can’t justify the time and gas money. Or your current job might not cut it due to the new financial responsibilities that come with having your first child. You should look to change jobs if your personal circumstances change in a way that your current job can’t sustain.
With all of the various reasons to take a new job, the best advice is this: Know your reasons for wanting to change jobs, and then do the necessary research to ensure your new job opportunity will satisfy those needs. Know yourself. Know your potential. Learn everything you can about the new job and company; time requirements, pay, benefits, and culture. You want to make sure your new job is two steps forward and not one step back!
Learn more in this article: 5 Ways to Know If It Is Time to Look for a New JobWhen Is the Right Time to Take a New Job? by Cameron Griffin