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.
Note- In case you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 of this same post!
7. Are you about to be fired? While “at will” employment status has made this harder to see coming, there are usually some signs. Check out this article to see if you may be about to get canned. If you feel you are about to be fired, it’s definitely time to start your career search. Your chances for finding a new position, especially in the current market, are much better when a potential employer thinks he is stealing someone else’s rock star instead of someone they kicked to the curb.
8. Do you enjoy your job? The old 80/20 rule can apply here as well. If you feel like you are engaged and happy 80% of the time, then you may be better off in your current position. Remember the grass isn't always greener and there are no guarantees that you will find happiness 80% of the time with a new job.
9. Are you disengaged? If you find that you rarely think about work outside of work hours or have little interest in reading industry publications, it’s a sure sign that you are disengaged. Check out this article for other clues that you may be unhappy at work. But don’t be too surprised if you change your mind after pushing the send key on a new opportunity. Sometimes just remembering you have a choice about your life/career can give you the mental adjustment that you need.
10. Does your current job provide new opportunities? I don’t know anyone that wants to think about doing the same job for the next 25 years. So yes, we all need to know that we have opportunities. If you job has absolutely no movement potential (vertical or horizontal), you may want to consider moving both your stapler and your career along to the next stop on your career path.
11. Do you enjoy coworkers? Realistically you spend more time with your work family than you do your personal family. So yes, this can be a good reason to stay put. With that said, it’s important to consider any unintended impact to your career path and personal goals. Staying someplace for coworkers at the expense of your career can be shortsighted. And who knows, you could end up finding even better coworkers at your next job! For more insight into this topic, check out this article.
12. Does your job highlight your weaknesses? If you are in a position that you feel showcases your weakest skills, then yes it’s definitely time to make a switch. This is a precarious position in a good economy and a horrible position in a bad business environment. If you know you aren’t providing value, chances are good that your boss does too. Start your job search before you are “encouraged” to do so.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to tell you when to jump ship. But hopefully by thinking through some of these questions you can begin to formulate your thoughts. At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone, so always trust your gut!
What things have helped you decide if it’s time to change jobs?