Making the decision to change your workplace is not easy. I have spent over a year and a half now trying to convince people to leave the job they know and – more often than not – really enjoy all the while not having gone through the process of moving into a new role myself. Today this has changed, and so I thought it might be useful to share some of my experience, so here is a couple of things to consider when you are deciding to change your job.
Is this the right time for you?
There’s been a lot of talk about generation Y and how disloyal we tend to be. But if you think about it, moving jobs frequently is not a proof of disloyalty, it points to being loyal to yourself rather than your employer. And this is not a bad thing at all! After all this is just business and while you want to make good on your promises, you are not bound to stay with your employer longer than you think is right for you. So instead of thinking about how much time you spent with the company or if enough time has passed since your promotion, think of whether the timing is convenient for you. The worst thing you can do is miss out on a great opportunity just because you are afraid of being labelled as a job hopper.
Why exactly are you considering changing your workplace?
In other words you simply need to ask yourself about your motivation. Is it that the new role comes with an increase in salary or rather because you would have more responsibilities? Or maybe the location is more convenient? Whichever it is (and there is no good or bad answer when it comes to motivation) you need to consider what the short and long term implications of your choice will be. If the salary is better but there is no career progression involved, are sure you are going to be happy with that choice in a year? Or if the opportunity is just perfect, but you will have to commute an hour each way, this is something you are really ready to do once the excitement of the new job wears off?
What is your gut telling you?
Sure, there’s a lot of facts to consider when making such an important decision, but at the end of the day how you feel about it may prove just as important. Does the idea of going to work in the new job make you excited? Are you keen to find out what new challenge the role will bring? Or are you scared to find yourself out of your comfort zone? Remember to consider how you feel about the new environment as well. You will most probably meet your manager in the interviewing process so think hard about whether they are someone you could get along with. Do you feel they are the right partners for you, that they will support you throughout the next step in your career? First impressions may not always be spot on, but that is exactly why most recruitment processes consist of a number of steps, so make sure not to be shy with questions and address any potential concerns. Remember the goal here is to find out all you need to know to make the right decision.
My final piece of advice would be to never go for what seems to be the safest option. The truth is we never really know what can happen long term and making a decision based on fear is something you may regret later on. There is always risk involved, whether you decide to change jobs or stay in your current position, so whichever you do just make sure that the reward for taking that risk makes it all worth it.