How To Know It Is Time For a Job Change

The hardest part of making a decision is when you have no idea where to start.  A job change can feel like one of those hard decisions.

Choice is an endless burden when the information you need to make a decision is not available. 

  • How do you know what job is right for you?
  • Is where you work more important than what you do for work? 
  • If you change jobs, how do you know if you won’t have the same problems as before?
  • When selecting a new job, how will you know if you made the right decision?

Today you know that where you work is not where you want to be. Let’s look to see if more information can be pulled together to help make your next move more clear.

If you love your job, but not your company…

Where Do You Go From Here

The easiest option is to keep doing what you have always done.  Stay in the same job but do it somewhere else.

This makes sense if you love what you do or have exceptional skills in your field.  But you likely would not be reading this if you were solid about this decision. 

No one is overly concerned with sticking to the status quo.

If you just want the same job somewhere else, you would just brush up your resume, search, and find a new job.

Your true motivation becomes clearer when you examine your reasons for wanting to leave your current company.

What can you learn from your current experience to better understand why you are thinking of a job change?

When the Real Issue is Company Culture

When you don’t feel good about the environment that you work in it may be due to the company’s culture. 

Company culture can include what the business stands for, the common values shared by the employees, or how it treats its employees.

Examine if your company may be a bad culture fit for you.

For example, if you believe that business practices are not being handled responsibly or ethically, you naturally may want to leave.

Your company may not work with ethical partners, may not follow proper safety rules, or may condone employees speaking unprofessionally to each other.

Working for an unethical company
You may realize one day that your ethics and the company you work for don’t match

These types of work environments can feel toxic to your spirit and make your days hard to get through. Even if you don’t engage in the behavior you may feel guilty by association.

This type of company culture can be a drain on your energy and may render you in conflict with your personal standards and ethics.

Company Culture is Also Company Care

Other evidence of poor company culture is a lack of response by the business when you express problems with the culture.

The reality is a business cannot control every action taken by every person in its walls at every moment. But a good company will react with care and with speed when things go wrong.

If this is not your company culture, you may not feel strongly about a job change.

Finding the Right Company Culture

When exploring other job opportunities, look to see what type of culture the business promotes. Some businesses will simply explain their intended culture with words.

Other companies will demonstrate their culture by sharing experiences when engaging with their customers, staff, and the community.

Look for engagement testimonies, company reviews, and community outreach projects of the new company you may consider.

Some things you cannot learn about a company until you are through the door.

Seems like knowing you are in the right place would be better before you walk in the door

Prioritize interviewing your new employer on their company culture.

Don’t hesitate to ask for real examples of how their values show up on a day-to-day basis.

Companies that focus on strong ethics and positive engagement share this openly to gain the attention of future employees with similar values.

When the Real Issue is Access to Professional Growth

Another potential poor company fit is when the company structure does not focus on professional development.

You may not see room for advancement, ways to earn more, or the opportunity to get more education and training. 

When becoming more is important to you but not made important to your business then it may be time to find a company aligned with your priorities.

While you are always in position to manifest your own growth, you cannot live to your fullest potential of success and happiness if you feel hindered from being your best by your environment.

Your job change may be solely to find a company that aligns with your long-term career goals.

Exploring Professional Development Opportunities

Companies who prioritize investment in their staff are often proud to share it.

Some will provide financial support, others on-the-job training, and some may simply offer schedule flexibility to not intrude on your independent endeavors.

Some companies also have strong leadership development programs and will invest to promote from within.

When professional development is a priority, be sure to examine this closely in your future interview process.

Ask questions not only about what programs exist but eligibility requirements. Share what you intend as the plan for your future and see how a new company is structured to support your plan.

You may also want to know the number and diversity of options as you may modify your professional goals as your career matures.

Always balance your discussion with how you will fulfill the immediate needs of the business. It is important that you have an interest in the current opening and convey this focus as well.

When you can align on both the current job opportunity and your future ambitions, you can feel more confident in selecting a company that’s right for you.

When the Real Issue is a Toxic Environment

Another reason for a job change is when your relationship with the company has been tarnished in some way.

Maybe you have had or feel you have had some type of stigma or bias against you.  Maybe you feel disconnected or feel wronged, not necessarily by a single individual, but by your department, leadership, or the business itself.

Working in a bad company culture

When bad blood exists and it cannot be repaired, it’s time to find a new company and to create a clean slate for yourself.

Examine further, however, if you are ready for that move.

Be mindful that working in a stressed environment for a length of time can create different patterns in your behavior. You may have become overly suspicious, watchful, and sensitive to others’ words or actions.

This type of behavioral shift can travel with you to a new job. Be aware of how past feelings of distrust may impact your ability to transition to an unfamiliar environment.

Examine how impacted you may be by your current job’s atmosphere. Connect with family, friends, and possibly a therapist to work through the emotional scarring that may have occurred.

While working in a stressed environment can be taxing, starting a new job in a new environment carries its own level of stress.

Take time to evaluate whether or not starting a new endeavor helps or hurts your situation at this time.

If you have the financial stability to do so, you may want to take a break between jobs to get yourself emotionally readied for your path ahead.

Finding Your Company Environment Match

When you are ready to interview, it is important to leave the pains of your old company in the past. It is never a good idea to slander your old company in an interview, even if valid.

Speaking neutrally about your old company is not a misrepresentation of them but rather a strong representation of you. If you are not normally one who speaks behind the back of another, don’t let a poor company experience turn you into that person.

Your potential new employer will only see the version of you that you present to them. Why not present your enthusiasm for what you love in your work and your excitement to share it with them?

If your past is what you want to move away from there is no reason to bring it with you to discuss a new position.

What is important is to focus on is what you are looking for in a company and for your future.

If working in a culture that embraces employee respect, teamwork, and a harmonious environment is important to you then focus your conversation here.

Take special effort to find a company that represents the way you want to be treated and you will be able to place more focus on your career without distraction.

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A job change may be a difficult decision. Learning what has motivated this decision within you can help to define if this change is right for you.

It is important to know what may be wrong with the job you have. But it is more important to know yourself and what you need in your career and job environment to be in the best position.

Take time to consider your options, define your desires, and then prepare your next steps toward the right career for you.

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