It can be easy to start making comparisons between our work lives and our friends and family and decide that the grass looks greener. With employment at record highs there may be plenty of opportunities to explore, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that changing jobs is the right decision for your long-term career.
We have coaching conversations with our candidates on a daily basis to help guide the decision making when this question arises. We’ve compiled the most frequently raised discussion points below to help you make your decision.
Reason people look for a new job
- A friend/friend of friend gets paid more than you for the same role – People do sometimes inflate or exaggerate, so bear in mind that this other person may have additional responsibilities on their job description that you don’t know about.
- You’re not paid enough – Your first action when preparing to ask for a pay rise is to research the market rates for your job. You also need to familiarise yourself with your employer’s pay practices. If for example, the standard practice is to process salary increases after an annual review, then you will need to time your request to coincide with this.
- There isn’t any progression – Ask for a conversation with your line-manager or the HR team to explore what opportunities there may be for progression. You might be surprised at the answer you get if you spell out the fact that you’re keen to take on more responsibility.
- You don’t get on with your manager – A personality clash with a manager is a very common reason for people deciding to leave their job. Before you give up on the relationship there are a few steps you can take to smooth things over.
- The job isn’t what you thought it was going to be – In order to get through the inevitable uncomfortable learning curve, you need to trial a job for 3-6 months to make sure you have enough information to be sure the role is not what you expect. Often during the early days, it will not feel like you expected it to, but new jobs do tend to settle down in time.
Companies are like living organisms, constantly changing and adapting, and a company’s culture is no different. If you feel that the culture is different or taking a turn for the worse, it’s important to discuss this with your manager. Changes can take time to implement but the efforts of just one person can often provide great results and shift things back on track.
Should I change jobs if I'm happy?
Whilst changing jobs when you’re happy where you are seems like the wrong thing to do, if a new job really attracts you (and not just the salary offered) you should go for an interview. Things to consider, even if you’re happy where you are:
- Make sure your CV is up to date
- If a recruiter calls, always listen to their pitch
- Keep an eye on the market
Reasons not to change your career
- The company has been bought/sold – Change can feel uncomfortable and it can take time to bed in, but consider the wider opportunities that this may present. Often take-overs/expansion can be great for future career advancement; better market opportunities for the company and merging of business cash flows can mean accelerated growth, as well as new technologies, short-term projects, new benefits packages, and variation in products/services etc. Give things time to settle down and acquaint yourself with all the new opportunities that are available before making your decision.
- You’re bored – If you feel bored, then it’s worth asking your line-manager if there is other work you can help with or extra responsibility you can take on. Consider what your strengths are and what work you would particularly enjoy to help give your line-manager a steer as to what additional work would suit you.
- The job isn’t exactly what you expected – Look over your interview notes and the job specification to refresh your memory with why you decided to accept the role in the first place. If the role really is different, most managers would appreciate you requesting a meeting with them to discuss before you resign.
- You’re just thinking in terms of the salary – Instead, make your case. Compile a list of your achievements in the previous 12 months; include any additional responsibilities that you have picked up; have a figure in mind that you would like to ask for; ask for a meeting with your line-manager letting them know the reason for the meeting so that they don’t feel ambushed. Then present your case calmly and in a composed way to be in with the best chance of success.
Don’t just think about your salary, rather than comparing your salary to one individual’s, benchmark your salary across the relevant sector; use a Google search to locate one of the many websites that you will help you do this.
Also, bear in mind that salary will not be the only consideration, take into account other benefits, work environment, hours of work, commute time and cost, etc.