As we get older, the days get longer but the years get shorter. Work is repetitive and we have less time for ourselves as we have to try to adult properly, which is also when we realise that nobody actually knows how to adult properly. But one constant part of adulting is this question that everybody asks themselves at some point: Should I change my job?
Now of course, when it comes to leaving a job, some signs are very telling.
If your environment is toxic, or you dread going to work everyday, or are constantly venting about work, then you might want to strongly consider looking for a new job.
Of course, if you are the reason that your work environment is toxic or you just generally sleep at 5am and dread waking up at 7am, then those might not be your job’s fault and you might want to consider some lifestyle changes.
But interestingly, people don’t usually leave their jobs for super negative reasons. Things like a lack of engagement, lack of growth, or just a general sense of mundaneness are all common reasons why people leave.
Is there career advancement at your job?
Starting with the most obvious, people leave jobs for a promotion and a better pay, which helps advance their careers. Especially prevalent in finance, changing jobs seem to be a biennial ritual that employees must undertake and most conversations with friends in your mid-20s involve circling around the “Should I change my job?” topic.
Gone are the days where employees stayed at a job for 20 years, companies now trade employees like football clubs in Europe (looking at you, Big 4).
If you’re looking for a pay raise, switching companies might be a good way to get it! After all, you can strong arm your current company into giving you a raise with an offer from somebody else if you don’t really want to leave 😉
How’s the workload?
Humans truly are the hardest creature to please. Pile them with work and they complain about a lack of work-life balance, give them nothing to do and they whine about work being too easy and boring 🙄
In all seriousness though, too much work or too little work could both be detrimental to a person. Too much work could cause excessive stress that is bad for mental health, which leads to a whole host of problems.
You will definitely draw some eye rolls when you complain about a lack of work at your job, but it could be detrimental for your career advancement.
How much soft power does your current company command?
Why do people fuss so much about going to a local university? Because the reputation is better.
And this follows us into the workplace. A more reputable company generally looks better on your resume. The network it can provide is wider, especially for MNCs, and benefits your career progression.
Having a globally known company on your resume tends to make recruiters or HR managers take a second look at your resume, which helps your future promotions.
And as the saying goes “your network is your net worth”. Bigger companies obviously mean more people, which means that you will be able to connect with more people!
Are you happy?
Perhaps the most important question of all, is whether you are happy at your job.
That being said, you can’t possibly be happy at your job all the time because nobody is actually happy all the time, that’s just insane.
On a 0-10 scale, with 10 being i-just-won-the-lottery or my-child-was-just-born happy, we generally fluctuate around 4-6. But if you’re hitting the 3s more than the 7s at your job for the majority of the time, then it might be a good time to start looking elsewhere.
Being happy is largely subjective though. Some people might feel happy being content at their jobs while others want challenges to feel the joy of overcoming them.
So the one rule you should follow for this is: ignore everyone else, if you’re happy, then you’re happy. It really doesn’t matter what other people think you should or shouldn’t do (unless you’re committing a crime or something, then please DO NOT follow this piece of advice).
If you really hate your job, even a misplaced paper clip can be a reason to leave it. But all because you don’t hate it doesn’t mean that you should forget about changing jobs.
Give yourself windows where you go into a job knowing what you want out of it, then checking yourself when that window ends to figure out whether you want to stay or leave.
It’s comfortable when you can cruise through your job and forget about the time that passes but that could also be a very dangerous thing.
Connect on Kalpha!
If you’re looking to speak to someone about your career or at a crossroads where you want some input from other people, download the Kalpha app and check out our Sharers in the Careers category!
Speaking to someone usually always helps, so connect with them if you feel like you don’t know what to do!
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