Is It Time To Change Jobs? Could Changing Jobs Take Your Career To The Next Level
Building a successful, rewarding and fulfilling career is a complex process. Along the way you will have to contend with many difficult decisions and potential pitfalls, all against a backdrop of changing circumstances both in your own personal life and within the industry in which you are employed. What does not change is the fact that to really thrive in a job, it is essential to strive to achieve your objectives and fulfil your potential.
Ideally, your hard work will be rewarded both financially and in terms of new opportunities and career progression. All too often, however, this sense of moving forward in the world of work can prove to be frustratingly elusive. If this sounds familiar, it may well be time to start finding out what new employment opportunities are available to you.
The good news is that taking the decision to move on from your current role can be a constructive first step towards re-establishing a career which reflects your abilities and aspirations.
As great as the potential benefits might be, leaving secure employment is a decision which should not be taken lightly. It is advisable, therefore, to run through a series of questions in order to be clear on your position and analyse the various reasons for and against making a career move.
A few questions which warrant careful consideration under such circumstances include the following:
Is my job right for me?
It might seem overly simplistic, but sometimes the ongoing pressures of work can prevent professionals from asking the fundamental question of whether or not the job they are in is actually right for them. If they are not happy in their job, are not being challenged and do not look forward to going to work, it could be that – were there to be an opportunity to actually ask – the answer would be an emphatic ‘no’.
On the other hand, it might also be possible to make your existing job more satisfying just by making a few key changes. As such, it makes sense to consult with managers about possible ways in which your role within the company could be adapted or expanded.
What’s stopping me from progressing in my current role?
A lack of professional progression can be rooted in any number of different factors. In larger businesses and organisations, for example, it can often be difficult to advance to the next step in the hierarchy until a standardised requirement has been met. This could mean being employed at the company or organisation for a specified number of years, or undergoing an extensive programme of internal training modules which may or may not be available at any given time.
At the other end of the scale, small companies often find that their more driven, career-focused and hard-working employees eventually reach a stage at which they have simply outgrown the opportunities available within the business in question.
Are my employers operating effectively?
Another factor which professionals often overlook is the competency of their line manager or other high-ranking colleagues. Underlying managerial issues such as internal conflicts or poorly conceived business strategies can take years to resolve. While patience and sheer endurance can pay off in the long run, there is also a strong case for looking for less problematic employment elsewhere.
How relevant all of this is to your own situation will of course depend on many factors such as your outlook on life, what stage you are at in your career, and the specific circumstances around at your company. Ultimately, however, nobody is better placed than you to make the final decision about whether to stick with your current role or move on to pastures new.
If you do decide to take the plunge, it is important to take a critical approach to any job opportunities which might present themselves. Some pertinent questions you would be well-advised to consider include:
- Do I agree with what the company stands for?
- Would I be challenged in the new role?
- Can the company provide a supportive environment in which to learn and grow?
- Will there be a clear career progression path available to me in the new role?
If you decide to persevere in your current position for the time being, it is still possible to take on a new approach which could pay dividends. Strategies worth considering in this regard include:
- Asking managers about opportunities for career progression within the company.
- Finding out what training is available and embracing these opportunities.
- Consulting with managers about how the scope of your role could be broadened and adapting your job description accordingly.
- Gaining a deeper understanding of your company’s weaknesses in order to build a knowledge base which you can draw on later in your career.
- Taking the opportunity to expand your network of contacts through your work in the business.
Wherever you hope your career will take you going forward, it is self-evident that making a decisive next step which takes into account all of the disparate factors mentioned above is no easy task. However, by trusting your own instincts, doing your research, and being aware of the necessity to ask the important questions, you can at least ensure that you never lose sight of your long-term aspirations.