Are you doing what you love? Do you look forward to going to work? Is your job a perfect fit for your skills, goals and values? asks Brian Colombana
If not, it may be time for a new job. Changing jobs can seem daunting (and who has time for that?), but there are steps you can take that make the process less stressful and more rewarding. Read on to find out how.
Why Consider A New Job?
There are many reasons why people decide it’s time for a change of scenery: An old buddy from college calls with an amazing new opportunity; A company in another industry looks more interesting than your current employer; You’ve been doing the same thing every day and want something different; boss is awful; The list goes on.
Most importantly, you need to have a reason for wanting to change jobs. If the only thing pushing you is that your boss annoys you or that your company just went through layoffs, then it may be time to move along. It’s understandable if these are factors in making your decision, but they are not enough by themselves.
Create a Plan of Action
If your motivation to leave is strong, start planning ahead of time so you can make a smooth transition. Once you’ve decided this is what you want, sit down with your family and discuss how they will handle the changes says Brian Colombana. Will they follow you? Or will they stay behind? How long do you expect the relocation process to take?
Next comes an honest assessment of your skills, goals and values. What are you currently doing in your job? How does it relate to the knowledge, training and experience you’ve built up over time? Which of these areas needs improvement or remediation?
Also vital is looking at how much money you’re making. Moving to another city/state/country will take a significant toll on your wallet. Make sure that’s not just a symptom of wishful thinking about wanting to change jobs! The right answer may be “yes” but then again, maybe not. If you have children, they should factor into this too—as well as any mortgage payment. Once all these factors are taken into account, only then should you decide what kind of opportunity suits you best.
Can I Change My Skills?
When you’ve looked at how your current job relates to your career goals, you may notice some overlap in skills. This is good! It’s an indication that not only can you do this job, but also others like it with relative ease. Look at the list of things you love about your company and what they’re doing right. These are the areas where their employees’ strengths lie (and therefore yours). Now look at things that frustrate or bore you; these are the parts of the company that need improvement. If there’s anyone else who shares those sentiments—that person may be able to help you discover a lucrative new opportunity.
As long as both of these lists don’t contain specifics that are your current company’s unique selling point, you’re in good shape. How does your job play into the overall company’s vision? If there’s no overlap between where you are now and where the company needs to go, then transferring internally is probably not an option for you explains Brian Colombana.
Can I Change My Goals?
The easiest way to look at this is to break up your goals into short-term and long-term categories. Short term goals are what you do at work every day while long-term plans should be about three years or more down the line.
Work backwards from your most pressing goal and see how much progress you’ve made toward it in the last year. If there hasn’t been any real advancement recently—or worse, you’ve actually been going backward—then it may be time for a change. But if the answer is yes and the rate of progress validates your decision to hold onto this job, then see what other goals you can work toward in this position.
If you feel as though you can make a difference in your company and move toward your goals, then stick around says Brian Colombana. If not, it’s time to move on. The transition won’t be easy if you decide to quit outright as opposed to use various options like telecommuting or job sharing that don’t require moving immediately. Then again, the grass may be greener on the other side—but only if you know why you’re going there!