If you’re thinking about a new job for the new year (and new decade), you’re not alone.
Perhaps you were starting to get itchy feet at the end of 2019. Maybe you had time to think over the Christmas break or while you were sitting on a beach or floating in the pool.
In any case, you had an epiphany – you need a new job.
Or do you?
In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, people are switching jobs more often than ever before. We’re stressed, restless, dissatisfied and hungry for change.
But as the old saying goes, you should always look before you leap.
In the case of your career, think before you leap.
Before you jump on the new year new job bandwagon, consider what’s behind your desire to find a new job.
While we’d all like to think that we are rational and make decisions based on facts, the truth is that we are emotional beings – we often ‘think’ with our hearts before our heads. What motivates us is crucial in understanding how we feel about our work.
Work is about so much more than the paycheck. Each of us has own unique motivations and things that are important to us but research shows that salary is not the top motivator for job seekers.
Here are five important factors to consider before you start clicking that ‘APPLY’ button.
Check on your growth mindset
For many people, the most important factor in job satisfaction is career progression and advancement opportunities. Remember that this goes much deeper than your job title and salary. Ask yourself:
Am I still growing and learning at work?
If you are, you could consider staying in your role to make the most of these growth opportunities.
If the answer is no and this is important to you, this is a key conversation to have with your manager before you start looking for a new job. There could be a new role or project just around the corner that could give you the growth you’re looking for.
Most employers would rather offer you a new challenge and opportunity (and retain you as an employee) than hire a new person.
If you’re unhappy in your job and this is what is driving your desire for a change, it’s important to understand exactly what is making you unhappy.
Is it the environment, the people, the location, your manager, your hours or something about your day to day tasks? Are you stressed, under-resourced or perhaps bored?
Make a list of what is making you unhappy at work. Consider if a new role will be able to make the things on this list disappear. If you can’t be sure of this, don’t be too fast to jump ship.
Think about a few things you’d like to change about your current role and if this list isn’t too outrageous, considering talking to your manager about making some changes that might make a difference to you.
Think about your strengths
What are you good at and what do you love to do? Does your job allow you to utilise your strengths?
Feeling a sense of accomplishment is important for all of us. If you have more to offer at work and could be using your skills or strengths more, have a conversation with your manager about this.
Most of the time there will be an opportunity to get more involved in the things you enjoy, which could increase your job satisfaction.
Think long term
What are your long term career and life goals? And how does this job fit into them?
Think about what you had hoped to achieve when you started your current job. Are you still on that journey?
If your current responsibilities and the skills you’re developing are aligned with your medium or long term plans, there could be some benefit in staying put. Especially if there are growth opportunities available to you internally.
If your current job isn’t building towards your future goals or your goals have changed, this could be a contributing factor to suggest a change is necessary.
Consider the commute
If the location of your workplace and your commute are factors in thinking about a change but you’re otherwise happy with your job, consider talking to your manager about flexible working arrangements.
Most organisations have a flexible working policy that enables employees to vary their start/finish times, work from home on occasion and even work part-time.
Could flexible working be the answer to your commuting concerns, rather than finding a new job?