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The right time to change jobs – 7 questions to help
27 February 2015
If you’ve been in the same role for a few years, you might be wondering whether you are hindering or helping your career by staying in the same position. Constant job-hopping may suggest to employers that it’s likely you’ll move on quickly, but too long in one role may raise questions around your ambition and motivation.
So how do you get the balance right?
There’s no magic number when it comes to how long you should spend in a role, particularly because today’s workforce is a mix of Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y who all have different career expectations and values. However there are a number of factors that are likely to influence your decision, including your salary, your work-life balance and the workplace environment.
If you are considering changing jobs, here are some key questions to ask yourself to help determine if it’s the right time to make a move:
Have you learned as much as you can from the role?
Are you bored, disengaged and unchallenged? If you feel that you have outgrown your role and are no longer learning valuable skills, then it may be time to look for a new position.
Are you making use of your talents?
People generally enjoy what they’re good at. Ask yourself if you are you making use of your key talents and doing what you do best.
Do you have room to grow?
Successful people love a challenge and are continual learners. If your role has stagnated and there is no opportunity to grow and stretch your skill set, it may be time to move on.
Are you under extreme pressure and feel consistently stressed?
Work is important – but so is your health and quality of life. Think about whether the stress you’re under at work is out of balance, and whether it’s something you have the power to change – or not.
Are you unsatisfied with your salary?
Are you getting paid what you’re worth? If the answer is no – and you’re unable to negotiate an improvement – it might be time to find a role that rewards you for your talent.
Is the role contributing to your long term goals and ambitions?
If you’re considering moving jobs, it’s a good time to evaluate your career goals. If your current role is laying an important foundation or teaching you valuable skills for your overall career aspirations, then make sure you are making the most of that opportunity. If not, decide what kind of role you need to foster your ambition, and seek it out.
So what now?
Once you’ve really taken stock of your situation, it’s time to look for possible solutions. Could your issues can be resolved without moving? Perhaps you could ask your manager for more (or less) responsibility, request an internal transfer to learn new skills, or simply take a holiday to get the break you need. If you cannot improve your situation within your current company, you need to decide if the solution is:
- A new position in the same industry
- The same position in a new industry
- A new position in a new industry
The decision to change jobs is a personal one, and depends on your feelings regarding job satisfaction, career goals and available opportunities. While there are pros and cons for both staying and moving on, be sure to make your final decision for the right reasons.
It's natural to worry about whether it is the right time to make a big (or even small) career change. Asking yourself these questions can help you decide if its time to move on:
• Have I learnt as much as I can in this role?
• Am I making use of my talents?
• Do I have room to grow?
• Am I under consistent pressure, and am I always stressed?
• Am I unsatisfied with my salary?
• Is this role contributing to my long term goals and ambitions?