You just completed two years in your company and you are now confused. Should switch and join another organization or should you stay put and continue with your current job?
You ask your friends and you hear all kinds of advice for changing jobs. One person advises you to change companies every 2 years, another friend suggests staying in the same organization and climbing up the ladder, your colleague tells you to choose the most comfortable job, the current one or another from the market.
You end up more confused thinking, “Should I change jobs or stay put?”
The more people you ask, the more confused you feel. I will help you make a better-informed decision about switching companies. The question does not have a right or wrong answer. Whether you should change your organization depends on what your aim is, how your personality is and how your job is. There are a few do’s and don’t of switching companies and knowing them will help you make the right choice.
- The common reasons for changing your job
- 5 Do’s and Dont’s of switching jobs
- 5 Dont’s while moving to a new job
- Do’s to consider while switching jobs:
- Frequently Asked Questions
The common reasons for changing your job
Before we get to the pros and cons of changing your job, you have to first identify why are you looking for a change. The most common reasons why people seek another job fall under the following buckets:
1. Looking for a better payscale
The annual hikes in most companies are only meager, which leaves employees wanting for more. Some people are content even if the annual increase is small, while some others look for gaining a fatter paycheck. The thought process varies from person to person.
Since the hike within the organization seems small, employees prefer to change the organization and find an offer that pays a lot more.
2. The job turning monotonous or boring
Some jobs might seem boring to you right from the start while some might feel monotonous after working on it for a year or two. Rarely does a job remain interesting forever with new things to do every day.
When the daily work seems like routine, boredom kicks in. Alongside comes the thought of finding another job which can make your work-life interesting.
3. Facing a problem or unhappiness
You might face a problem which might make you hate your job. Reasons like a terrible new boss, a different project, a change in culture, a fresh set of policies or the financial health of the company can turn a happy working place to an environment you despise.
Sometimes the change is abrupt, like a new boss taking over and making everyone’s life miserable in a span of days. In other cases, the change can be gradual, like the culture of a startup deteriorating, turning a fun place into a chaotic business place.
4. Influence of others
At times, you do not think about changing the job yourself but somebody around you plants the thought into your head. A colleague or a friend or a relative says, “Hey, you have worked 4 years in the company. Don’t you think you need a change?”
Boom, you now have a parasite in your brain itching you to think if you should consider the advice.
5 Do’s and Dont’s of switching jobs
As mentioned earlier, there does not exist a one fit for all answer to the question if you should switch your job. But here are some reasons which are not good enough and some reasons which justify your switch. These are the things to consider when changing jobs.
5 Dont’s while moving to a new job
1. Don’t switch only for the money
Everybody works for money, I get it. But money isn’t the only part of your life. If you look at the time spent over your lifetime, you spend a big chunk on work. If you do not like the work you do, happiness will elude you. Yet, the most common mistake employees make is joining a new job just because it offered a slightly better pay scale.
Many employees move from an interesting start-up profile to a boring large firm role because the salary was higher. Joining a new company without considering your long term growth is a mistake that will cost you. Do not give up on what you love doing because someone offered you some extra bucks. After a while, the extra money seems ordinary but your boring day to day job will suck the life out of you.
2. Don’t switch because you have one or two problems
Due to the growth of companies in the market today, you know that there are a lot of offers up for grabs. As a result, you might feel like finding another job because your current job has a few hiccups. You might have a difficult boss or a project which you hate working on, but making a hasty decision to move jobs isn’t always the solution.
No job in the world is perfect, even the one which resonates with your heart. If your answer to problems is moving from one organization to another, you will live the life of a nomad.
Try to think of other ways to solve the problem. Talk to your manager and coworkers, seek advice and make an attempt to solve the problem. If you chicken out at every instance of a problem, you will fail to develop the thick skin necessary to fight your way out.
3. Don’t switch if the change does not help your long term goals
If you do not know your long term goals clearly yet, answer these three questions.
If you have your long term goals set, you must always plod ahead towards them. Do not let the greed of money deter you. If you dilute your focus by working for a couple of years on a job that does not align with your long term vision, you will lose motivation over time.
Keep your job and goals aligned. The more they fall out of synchrony, the more unhappiness and frustration you will feel in your life.
It is acceptable to work on a different tangent temporarily to help you achieve your dreams. For example, if you wish to run a business of your own, you can work in any profile for a few years to gather the funds. But make sure you know what you’re doing.
4. Don’t switch without considering the importance of relationships
Human beings are strong social animals. If you stay in an organization for a year or two, you would have built rapport with your superiors, peers, and juniors. Not only do relationships help you learn, but they also help you grow in your career.
While joining another company, most people fail to consider the time required to gain the trust and support of coworkers. In some companies which follow a flat organizational model, rapport with other people serves as the driving factor to get work done.
Relationships are important not only in personal life but also at work. Every time you move to a different organization, you have to start all over again from step 1.
5. Don’t switch without considering what you could do better
Ask any random person and you will hear a hundred reasons why he hates his job. You might be that person yourself where you feel your growth has stagnated and your organization/manager does nothing about it. But have you asked yourself if you could do more? Most people can, but they won’t bother trying.
If you believe the onus of your growth lies on somebody else’s shoulders, you are mistaken. Focus on giving and you will receive.
Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your countryJohn F Kennedy
JFK told that to the citizens about the country but the same holds for employees of an organization.
Do’s to consider while switching jobs:
In some cases, changing companies helps you nurture your talent and foster your growth. Consider the following to decide if you should leave your job for another offer.
1. Consider leaving when you have nothing new to learn
Most people start their career around the age of 22 years. For the first 3-4 years, employees put in a lot of hard work and learn new skills. After the first 5 years, laziness starts creeping in and learning starts slowing down. Beyond the age of 30, people slip into a comfort zone. They manage with the skill set they already have without trying to learn something new.
Every year you need to learn new things. If your job does not provide you the scope to learn periodically, you should consider taking up a new job to learn. The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing.
2. Switch if you’re not improving your skills
You might believe that experience will teach you. You’re right. But if you rely only on experience to teach you, you learn at only a slow pace. Your job must facilitate experimenting and trying the new things that you learn. At any point in your professional life, if you consider yourself better than what you were 3 months ago, you will climb up the ladder of growth. If not, you must consider your options which help you hone your skills.
Look at it this way: every year you expect your payscale to increase. Isn’t it fair for your company to expect your skills to improve as well?
When you turn 40, if your skills are only on par with another employee who is 30 years old, do you think you deserve more than your co-worker? I don’t think so.
You earn a salary to deliver and you must keep your skills in alignment with your pay scale.
3. Change your job if the growth path within the organization is volatile
Some companies lack a clear structure of growth for their employees. Employees are promoted based on office politics and for many other reasons, all except performance. If you are working in such an organization, pack your bag, run as fast as you can without looking back.
Such a company will almost certainly have a toxic work culture. The longer you stay within such a poisonous environment, the more you will turn like the others. If you stay long enough, you will feel that such behavior is normal and might even be a part of the venomous habits.
4. Move into a job which complements your prior experience
You do not always have to work on the same thing you did before. When you work on related job roles, your overall profile grows stronger.
For example, if you work in sales, consider a job in marketing for some time. If your experience was around programming, try testing for a bit. If you are a chef, attempt to work as a restaurant manager.
When you work on different roles that are closely intertwined, you will understand the business from a different lens. It will help you perform your original job better, consider more angles and deliver better results.
5. Switch if Monday blues are common or you hate being there
Sometimes the job could be great and the culture might be fantastic, yet your heart does not seem there. In such cases, there is no reason to blame the job. It is just that your happiness and the company’s goals do not align.
Usually, such scenarios happen when a person begins his career without taking the time to ponder what is the right place for himself. As a fresher out of college, you feel like grabbing on to the first offer which comes your way. But apply the brakes and ask yourself, if the same role can keep you happy for the next 30-40 years. You may not always have a clear answer but do not forget to ask the question. Most people won’t.
If you do not ask yourself that question early in your career, you might find yourself cursing your job for the rest of your life.
In some cases, you might think the job is right for you and soon after you join, you realize you made a mistake. Do not hesitate to correct your mistake by quitting your job and finding another one which makes you happy to get out of bed and rush to work. The longer you take to do this, the harder the decision gets.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have improved your skills every year, changing jobs could help you grow faster. However, if you have just sailed through the 10 years without learning new skills in the last few years, you need to consider the expectations the new organization will have.
If your skills are improving and you are growing into an expert day by day, you can stay in a company for even 5 years without a promotion. Look at your job from the angle of learning. At any point in time, do you consider yourself as good as the employees from a top-paying firm? For example, if you are a programmer, do you think you have the programming skills to bag an offer at Google or Facebook? If yes, you can always get to that salary/position irrespective of what your current salary is or how long you’ve stayed in a company.
It depends on the growth path within the organization. If you are continuously improving skills and climbing up the ladder of growth, staying in one company can lead to great rewards after a span of 15-20 years. But if your company does not have enough potential to nurture your growth or if you are looking for immediate improvement, switching jobs works better.
Unfortunately, there is no good answer to the question “Is it better to stay in one job for a long time or moving from one company to another?”
There is no right or wrong time to quit a company and move on to the next. Whoever advises you is telling you their perspective. Only you can decide for yourself if the move would benefit you or not. Do not let the opinion of others influence how long to stay at a job before quitting.
Changing a job can pave your path for growth or take you on a trajectory of stagnation. Make an informed choice. More importantly, make it yourself.
Maxim Dsouza has spent over a decade experimenting and finding various time management techniques to improve his productivity. He strongly understands the fact that time is a limited commodity and tries to make every second count. He has extensive experience in leadership in startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
He has helped people of different professions and age groups gain clarity on their goals, improve focus, revise their time management skills and develop an awareness of their psychological cognitive biases.