Career Mantras

When is the right time to change jobs?

Posted by:  Prakash Kewalramani Date:Aug 08, 2016

Today’s Generation-Y changes jobs very often! At times, more than twice a year!!!  If we compare the ratio of people switching jobs frequently with those who don’t change, this figure is very high!

The question naturally arises: is it a necessity these days that we change our jobs so frequently?

Although candidates do get jobs “at the drop of a hat” (due to the severe talent crunch India is currently facing), the fact remains that “no one likes a rolling stone” . Employers expect a professional to have worked for a reasonable number of years in an organisation, contributed to the organisations' growth and only then look for a change if the current organisation is unable to offer adequate further challenges & growth opportunities.

You must keep in mind that for upto mid-management levels, it takes at least 3-6 months time for a person to understand the new organisation and start performing & delivering. For senior & C-Suite positions, the gestation time for performance to start could even be as high as 1 year.

So to seek a job prematurely, one would be destroying one's credibility and damaging one's CV and long-term career prospects.

If you have a long-term perspective of your career and a clear career goal, you need to take decisions regarding job changes very, very carefully and after a lot of thought & consultation.

Gen-Y is extremely impatient, indecisive & unsatisfied about their career as compared to earlier generations; hence they tend to jump from one organisation to another in search of monetary growth or job satisfaction.

So, when is the right time to change jobs? Is it the right time?

There is no specific formula to decide when you need to change your job; however there are a few aspects to be considered before you do decide to quit:

  • To start with, you need to assess dispassionately as to where you stand currently in your organisation, what you like about your current company & job? What you dislike?
  • Have you achieved the objective with which you had joined your current organisation? If not, then why are you seeking a job-change??
  • What have you achieved in your current job and (the very commonly asked question) where do you see yourself in the near future and what is your ultimate career goal. Can you achieve your career aspirations in your current organisation? Have you given yourself & your organisation enough time? It cannot always be a one-way-up trajectory. Things take time to shape up. After all, “a known organisation is always better than an unknown one”;
  • What is missing in your current role? What steps have you taken to achieve your targets/goals. What is your current job-role & rating in the organisation and what learning, career-growth path your organisation has drawn up for you in the short-run and long-run;
  • Have you spent enough time in the organisation (total time spent) before you switch to another? This can fluctuate as per different sectors, job roles and position levels;
  • If it is just your first job or your first role in that particular organisation, then you need to check if you really need to change at this stage. It may be advisable to spend some more time and gain more experience in the  role/field. The satisfaction level may seem less currently but the long-term results may be just what you want!
  • You may have concerns regarding your role, your salary, your colleagues. In such cases, you must share your  concerns with your BOSS. One cannot be under the impression that the “BOSS IS GOD” knows and understands everything that you are going through. You need to speak out and clear your doubts and concerns you have by discussing them with your boss and getting them resolved;
  • “External factors including your employer’s financial status, merger of your company with another organisation, status of your organisation’s industry etc.;
  • Your relationship with your boss. As they say “more often than not, people leave their bosses and not their organisations!” In such a case, have a discussion with your “Super-boss”, that is, your boss’s boss.
  • Money should not be the prime reason for job-change – If money is the only / major issue for your desire for job change, you need to evaluate and research the current market rate for your skills and experience. Only if you feel you are currently not paid according to market standards, you have discussed with your company and they have refused to entertain your need for salary hike and you do have the requisite skills to get that higher-paying job in a great organisation, should you take the decision to look outside.

Always, leave when in a position of strength

You should seek a job-change only when you are at the peak of your career in your current organisation and your organisation has no more further challenges to offer you!

Once your decision about leaving is final, ensure you have a great job in hand before putting down your papers. Never get enticed to storm off in a huff or use an inappropriate language or proclaim that you are annoyed with the current position. It is always a better idea to find a new job while you are still working with the current one. Leaving without having anything in your hand could lead to a long period of unemployment, financial/social/family issues. Unemployment indicates a gap in your career which itself will be difficult to defend in your future interviews. The next employer would have all sorts of doubts about your reasons for leaving your previous job without having a solid job on hand.

What offer should you consider?

Organisations show a bright picture in the beginning, but the choice & decision is entirely yours. Before making a decision, you need to do a complete research on the company.  For more details on How do you decide on a job offer? visit http://www.jobmantras.com/web/index.php/career-mantras/detail/33/How-do-you-decide-on-a-job-offer%3F

You should appreciate the fact that in today’s highly-networked world, word could get back to your boss that you are looking out for jobs and attending interviews. This could create difficulties in your current assignment and jeopardise your career prospects in your current organisation.

So unless things are going terribly wrong in your current organisation, you should try and resolve your issues internally with your boss and superiors. If you are a solid performer and confident of your capabilities, more likely than not, things will improve to your liking - sooner than later!!!

If, despite all your efforts over a reasonable period of time, things still do not shape up to your expectations, the time is right for you to look outside for a new job and quit once you have snagged “your dream job elsewhere!!!”

And once having got that dream offer, make sure that you leave your current organisation gracefully and keeping all your relationships in tact! After all, you never know, you may be seeking an assignment in the same company again or may cross paths with your present colleagues somewhere else!!!

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