Should You Change Your Job ?

You might be happy or unhappy with your current role.  But should you change your job and move to a new role and/or a new company ?  This is not a decision that should be taken lightly.  In this article I will take you through the key considerations and offer insights to ensure that your decision is well-informed.

Motivations for Change

To change your job is one of the major life changes that comes along every so often.  Like getting married, moving house or birth and death, it is the end of one period of your life and the start of another.  You will no longer regularly see some people and will now start seeing a new set of people.  It should not therefore be something that is done in the heat of a moment, and should be well considered.  You need to carefully assess your reasons for wanting to make a change.  

This change may be a decision that you have been thinking about for some time, but there is a relatively simple question that can help determine your real motivation.  “Are you running FROM your current role or are you running TO a new role?”.  Ideally it should be a little bit of both, but if it is mainly running FROM your current role then you need to look closer at what is causing your issues.  We will come back to this in a moment.

Current Situation

Understanding your current situation is crucial for identifying the gaps you seek to fill in a new opportunity and ensuring that you don’t end up in the same situation with respect to your issues but just in a new company.

First : Assess your current role. What aspects of your role do you enjoy, the things that make you smile when you get out of bed and know that you are going to do today ?

Second : Where do you face issues and challenges ?  What are the things that make you want to stay in bed and not have to go to work ?  What are the red flags for any new role ?

Third : You should review your current company’s culture and your team culture. Does it align with your values and work style?  How does the culture impact your performance and job satisfaction ?  Do you have issues with your manager, and if so, what is the root cause of those?  These are questions that you need to ask yourself honestly.

Fourth : Are you consistently achieving targets and goals, or do you feel that there is room for growth?  Understanding your performance can be a pivotal factor in deciding whether a change is necessary.

Fifth : Look at where you want to be – your career goals and aspirations as well as your personal and professional growth , as this should guide your overall strategy.  

Does your current role provide the opportunities and challenges needed to move you forward in your development or do you see yourself stagnating in your role?  Are you getting the personal development and support that you need?  Is your current role aligned with your career goals?

If the answer to these questions is No then it might be time to make a change in order to stay on course for your career.  However, you should also consider market trends and industry shifts.  Is the company that you work for helping to make a new market or shift an industry in a new direction ?  A move internally might be a better option, particularly in countries where length of service matters.

Future Roles

You have now baselined where you are. Use all of the above to create a description of the ideal job for you, what it sounds like, how it works and the type of company that you want to be part of. 

So let’s return to “Are you running FROM your current role or are you running TO a new role?”.  If you are running FROM your current role then you need to be careful.  You need to understand exactly what you are running from, especially if the role that you currently have actually turns out to be your ideal role.

For many people, the reason that they want to leave is that they are having issues with their direct manager.  There are many reasons why people end up in this situation but leaving your role is a big leap to get out of the situation.  My recommendation would be to take some time to honestly list the steps that took you to where you are now.  This is a difficult thing to do, but the honesty piece is critical.  It might take you a few days to do this.

You should then review the list, and even try to review it from your manager’s perspective as well if you can.  But what I tend to find in these situations is that two key themes appear – expectation setting and bi-directional communication issues.  The interesting thing about these is that they can be overcome within a reasonable amount of time, but both require deliberate action.

Ask your manager for some time to discuss the concerns that you have.  Be specific on the need for clear expectation setting and agree how you will communicate with each other.  In my experience, most managers in this situation will welcome the opportunity for a reset.  If they don’t, then you just reached a decision point.

Researching Potential Opportunities

Once you have made the decision to look for a new opportunity, you need to research who the target companies might be that you would want to work for and review their job openings.  You need to review which types of company might interest you and why.  Don’t limit yourself to companies that are in your current market vertical.  See if your skills and experience are transferable to other market sectors.

Alternatively, take a look at what roles are being advertised in the market for your ideal role categories and then research the companies that are advertising.  Make sure that you are connected with reputable recruiting agencies.  They are often contacted about roles prior to them being published on the open forums like LinkedIn and so you could ensure that your name is already on a list of candidates to review.

However you get to a particular opportunity, you need to conduct a level of due diligence about the potential company.  Review their financial stability through their quarterly or annual reports.   Review their market reputation through sites like Glassdoor, and strategic direction through the statements that they have made to the market or in their regulatory filings. Ensure that they align with your values and career objectives, that there are no compromises that you would need to make and that they do not have any of your red flags.

One other recent area to consider – what is their Return to Office policy after Covid.  A number of companies are now asking people to come back to the office for 2 or 3 days a week.  This is a much broader topic and we have another blog post discussing it, but you need to consider how this might affect you and your family, if at all, and what impact that might have on commute time and cost.

When it comes to the people and managers at the company, research who you might know there, who used to work there and more about the leadership team.  What do people say about them, why have people left and would they work for those leaders again in the future?

Decision-Making Advice

There are always risks associated with changing roles – even within the same company.  Will you like the new company, the people and products and services ?  Will you be first out if there are layoffs – especially if the country that you work in does not have good employment protection.

Like any risk, you need to balance the benefits and the downsides.  How does this move advance your career and your financial situation?  Remember – some lateral moves without a significant pay increase can massively improve your career options.

A key requirement for me is that the products and services must be strong.  It is difficult justifying a move to a company where the products are not appreciated by the customers unless you are trying to build a career as a company turnaround specialist.  Look at what some of the market analyst companies say about the products, and what customers say on review forums.

As I mentioned earlier, many people leave their current roles due to their manager and due to misaligned expectations.  As you run through the interview process, make sure that you are 100% clear on the role expectations, what success looks like and how the role aligns with your personal goals.

Research the manager of the team in detail.  Try to learn about how they work and how they manage their team.  Talk to current and former team members through the interview process. And ask specific questions in the interview about the team culture.  The ability to build rapport with the manager is a critical point in the decision process.

You can interview and search for new roles without leaving your current role – this is how most people do things.  But as you do this, be careful not to ‘silent quit’ your current role and restrict your current career.  The last thing that you want to happen is to be fired for non-performance.

Summary

The decision to move to a new company is a strategic one that requires thoughtful consideration. By evaluating your current situation, identifying motivations for change, researching potential opportunities, and following a systematic decision-making process, you can position yourself for a successful transition.  

Remember, your career is a journey, and strategic decisions pave the way for success.  I encourage everyone to get out there and challenge yourself to become the best person that you can be.

Video Links:

YouTube Video : https://youtu.be/76VijjILOYo

Blog Links:

Develop Yourself and Your Career : https://thepresalescoach.com/blog/develop-yourself-and-your-career/

 

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