Granted, the current job market is challenging at best, but should it stop you from making a job change? The short answer is not necessarily. While you will certainly find less opportunities than you might in a better market, consider the following questions to help determine if the time is right for you to make a switch.
1. Do you dread going to work? When you find that you start looking forward to Friday on your Monday morning commute or worse yet on Sunday afternoon, then it’s likely a sign. Sure we all have times where work is….well work. But when the bad days exceed the good ones, it’s likely a time to evaluate your current job. Steve Jobs once said, “I look in the mirror every morning and ask myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
2. Do you feel you are fairly compensated? If you like your job but feel you aren’t fairly compensated, it may not be time to jump ship just yet. Before starting your job hunt, try to negotiate with your present employer for a pay increase. Start by researching the industry compensation averages for your position. And be prepared to get creative. If your boss can’t increase your salary, perhaps they could promote you or develop a bonus structure that would meet your goals. Regardless, give them the opportunity to keep a great employee before you start your search.
3. Are you unhappy? Before making a change to find happiness, make sure you know the true source of your frustration. If your job is the reason, then sure it may be a great sign. But if it’s due to some situation in your personal life, changing jobs won’t likely make a difference. Check out this article for help to figure out the “real” reason you aren’t satisfied at work.
4. Do you have a bad relationship with your boss? Constant friction between your boss and yourself rarely turns out well. If you can’t seem to find a way to establish good rapport, chances are good that it will reflect in the quality of your work and ultimately your position within the organization. So yes, this may be a sign to start looking at other options. But before taking the plunge, check out this article for some tips to repair that relationship.
5. Do you feel like layoffs are coming? Given the current economy, this one is a bit dicey. Sure it may be better to start the job hunt before you are forced out, but realize that you will begin your new job with zero seniority and may be the first to go if they too have layoffs. You can certainly help minimize this possibility by carefully researching the industry and company to determine their current industry position and growth opportunities.
6. Are you experiencing too much job related stress? According to a recent article, 42% of American’s have recently left a job due to job related stress. While job related stress can be a great reason to make a job change, consider this carefully before blasting out your resume. Is there any chance that you are personally responsible for creating the stress? If so, that character trait will likely follow you to your next position. However, if the cause of the stress is outside of your control, then perhaps it’s time to redefine your work/life balance and look for a new position.
What do you think they will be?