The decision to change jobs tends to be life-changing, whether that decision is for better or for worse. In August of this year, CNBC reported that a staggering 55% of people in the American workforce said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. So what drives people to take such a significant risk and leave secure employment in search of greener pastures?
There are many reasons to pursue a career change, but not all of them are equally weighted. For example, if you’re unhappy collaborating with a cutthroat colleague, there may be steps you can take to remedy the situation. Consider alternative measures before taking the drastic decision to abandon an otherwise great job.
You might be tempted to leave your work because you’re going through a hectic period. Be careful! After all, every job has its ups and downs. Don’t take your worst day as a representative of your entire work life. Evaluate whether your grievances are short-term inconveniences or sufficiently severe to justify a major change.
Considering a new job? Read on for some advice! Below, we’ve listed 5 reasons you might move from one position to another:
1. To enjoy greater professional development opportunities
If you feel your work has become stagnant, a new position might breathe new life into your career. In 2021, companies should offer professional development opportunities to retain their top talent. If your employer has failed to provide any, it’s understandable that you’d become bored and start to look elsewhere.
Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask your employer about this first. As obvious as it seems to you, your boss may have no idea that you’re feeling frustrated. Before you commit to leaving, it’s a good idea to share how you feel and see what they can offer you. Any wise employer should take action to retain a driven team member!
Maybe you’ve found a new job that offers training in an emerging industry, or maybe you’ve discovered a company with an excellent mentorship program that you believe you’d deeply benefit from. These are good reasons to leave your job, take a risk, and make a fresh start in another organization.
2. Because it’s closer to your field of interest
If you settled in the past and took a job that wasn’t perfectly compatible with your passions, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever. So when you see your dream job being advertised, why shouldn’t you apply?
Moving into your preferred industry might involve a short-term sacrifice, though. For example, you might have to accept a demotion or lower-level position just to get your foot in the door of a competitive field. It’s up to you to assess whether you can survive on a reduced paycheck while you work your way up the ladder.
Think about where you could be in five years if you take the job, and compare it to your projected trajectory if you stay in your current position. This can help you make an informed decision based on probability. Whether you choose stability with the potential for regret or risk disappointment and difficulty pursuing your dream is your decision to make.
3. It offers a more attractive schedule
Never underestimate the importance of work-life balance! Post-pandemic, this has become a huge priority across industries due to the way remote working has blurred lines between work and leisure. Different people are motivated by different things. Some of us dream of a high-powered career and a huge salary. For others, family time or the chance to travel is far more important.
An attractive schedule that allows you to balance work with the other vital things in your life could be enough to convince you to move. If you’ve experienced high levels of stress in your job and you crave more time and energy to look after yourself, a change could be a very rewarding decision.
Before you make any big career moves, it’s a good idea to reflect on what you really want out of work. Is it status and power? Work that aligns with your values? The opportunity to be creative? After all, work can hold a range of meanings. For some, it is a profound source of fulfillment. For others, it’s simply a means to an end.
4. There are significant contractual advantages
This might be the most obvious motivation for moving jobs: more money! When offered a higher salary elsewhere, who wouldn’t be tempted to leave their current job? Whether you’re working to make ends meet or to save for a special occasion, we’re all motivated by money to a certain degree.
Otherwise happy at work? This could be your chance to request a raise. Don’t be afraid to broach the topic respectfully if you feel you’re being underpaid for your efforts. Bear in mind that if your employer is unable to meet your demands, you may be forced to move elsewhere.
It’s crucial to compare contracts in their entirety before you commit, though. Include bonuses, annual leave, work hours, and your level of responsibility in your consideration. A high salary figure can be deceptive unless evaluated in context.
5. It’s a promoted position with more responsibilities
Have you ever looked at your boss and thought, “I could do their job”? If so, you might be ready for a higher position. Although promotion is likely to come with more or at least harder work, it should also bring greater authority and agency, which is what attracts ambitious people to ascend the ladder.
Maybe you’ve been offered a promotion within your company. Maybe you’ve found a higher-level position in another organization. Whichever it is, accepting this new title will undoubtedly bring new challenges. Some people thrive on continuous growth and lifelong learning, while others are satisfied to stay where they are once they’ve mastered a particular role. The type of person that you are will determine whether you’re especially attracted to a promoted post or not.
Accepting a new position may feel like a gamble, but remember, few jobs are completely guaranteed. Even a permanent position in an established company could suddenly come up against unexpected redundancies.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which career risks are worth taking. An honest understanding of yourself and your goals is your best guide for deciding whether to change jobs.