Is it time to find a new job? This question may come up soon after taking a job or years down the road. Sometime it is justified and sometimes it’s just triggered by a change of situation that leads you to question whether the job you have is the best for you.
Checking out job posts to see what is out there is not the same as actively looking for a job. And because the latter is time and effort-intensive, you should be aware of whether the timing is right or not to find a new job. While changing jobs unnecessarily may seem harmless, it could have long-term impact on your ability to built in-depth knowledge and an image of reliability with employers.
So how can you decide if finding a new job is the right move at this time. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
If you have the job for just a few weeks or months, you might not be fully satisfied. You’re already past the honeymoon phase of being excited about your new job. You’re no longer the newcomer who is getting attention and help, and you are probably facing increasing responsibilities and expectations.
The need to flee the scene is understandable. But the good news is once you pass this phase, you will be able to deal with the job requirements and make a much better, lasting impression. So be sure you understand that the pressures you’re encountering in this stage are part of your learning curve. They are not related to bad choice or supervisor. Before you know it, you will be able to look back with knowledge and experience at this stage and be the one who provide orientation to others.
On the other end of employment length, you may want to switch jobs because you feel like you stay too long with the job. While the age and time of sticking with one employer for life is behind us, the length of employment in itself doesn’t mean much. If you’re contributing to a growing company in various fulfilling roles, the growth opportunities totally justify staying there — unless you feel the need to try something new or different.
But if your career has stalled and all that long-term employment provide is a sense of stability and routine, change may be the right move. Long-term employment that doesn’t contribute to professional growth and advancement can hurt you if you find yourself having to search for a new job — involuntarily.
The bottom line: search for opportunities that enrich your career. If you find them with your current employer, that is a great situation to have. If you find them with a different employer, consider the move while keeping in mind the risks of change and potential unknowns.
Are you in an industry that is impacted by the economy or regulations? If that is the case and you know that a major change is coming up and it might simply lead to layoff or crash, moving sooner than later is the right choice. Similarly, if signs are there that your employer might be going out of business. In many cases, staying ahead of the curve can help you get a better job because you’d better job hunting while you’re still employed.
Other external factors that could impact the timing of your job change include personal circumstance. You may switch job for better benefits, if these are necessary for you or your family. A change in your personal life, like marriage or expecting a baby, may inspire a change to job that provides better work-life balance.
It’s a correction
Have you taken a job just because you needed something to pay bills or because you had no other choice? Looking for a job immediately to correct your career path is a no-brainer. What you cannot afford, however, is making another wrong move. So while you might be aching to get back on track, don’t jump into another mediocre opportunity just because it looks slightly better than what you have. Try to make this move count and look for a job that puts you back where you expect to be.
By Rania Oteify
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