Whether the economy at a macro level is rolling along -- or if it's in a bit of a funk -- people are often even more concerned about the economy at the micro level. Looking out for "number one" is a natural human instinct. And few things are more important to someone's personal economy than their job situation. It is very beneficial for people to conduct a candid analysis of their current job status to determine whether finding another position is a viable way to improve things. There really are good reasons for leaving a job.
The Gallup organization compiled a State of the American Workplace report, which found that slightly more than half of employees surveyed admitted to actively looking for a new job or to watching for openings. The primary reasons provided for taking a different position are listed below, along with some suggestions to consider in each category.
Career Growth Opportunities
- Professional Development or Change in Career Path: The Gallup results show the longer people stay at their jobs, the more likely they are to say they have opportunities to do what they do best every day. But what if that's not the case in your own situation? When you desire a change in career path that takes you outside the core competencies of the company you work for, you have little choice but to seek out those opportunities elsewhere. Similarly, when you seek opportunities for professional development that your current company simply cannot provide, you may need to look elsewhere for those opportunities as well. When considering a move, make sure your new employer offers the professional career growth opportunities that tie in with your long-term plans.
- Underemployed: Do you find yourself in the ranks of the underemployed who are unwillingly limited to part time work? Sometimes the company has projects but they keep passing you over as a resource. Sometimes the company simply doesn’t have enough projects to keep you and its other resources working full time. In either case, if you want or need to be working full time, you may have little option but to seek employment elsewhere.
Pay and Benefits
- Overworked and Underpaid: Paysa, a firm that says it uses machine learning and AI to analyze industry employment, reported that one-third of tech professionals are underpaid by 10 percent or more. Are you not getting compensated fairly? Are you consistently working an unsustainable number of hours each week? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions and your reasonable efforts to rectify the situation with your employer keep failing, changing jobs may be a reasonable option. The outcome of your discussions will expose management’s fundamental commitment to their staff.
- Unmet Financial Needs: Everyone has financial needs, and when your current job is unlikely to ever meet them, changing jobs is the only feasible route to get on track for meeting your financial goals. Perhaps you had a plan that you thought was attainable in your current job which is simply not panning out. Perhaps you have experienced life changing events which have changed your financial needs, rendering your current position unlikely to meet them. Regardless, when your current job isn’t the place to meet your financial goals, it is time to either reassess your goals or move on to a job in which you can reasonably attain them.
Manager or Management
- Damaged Relationship with Management: Workers want to feel connected to their jobs, managers and companies. But Gallup also found that when those ties are not there, employees have more incentive to quit. When your relationship with management is beyond repair, chances are you are officially in a dead-end job. When all attempts to improve the relationship have failed, there is really only one path left to improve your situation: find another job.
- Failing Company: When there is little to no hope that a company will avoid failure, the best course is typically to find employment elsewhere as soon as possible. After all, if you wait around for the inevitable, you could be missing out on important opportunities. You may also be shortening your window to find a job without suffering negative financial consequences.
- Mismatched Values: Workers who feel detached from their company cultures are also unlikely to feel their job is important, according to the Gallup findings. When the values of the company do not match your personal values, there is little you can do but go work somewhere else. This mismatch may play out in many ways. Sometimes your personal ethics are at odds with the business’ practices and ethics (or lack thereof). It may also be that the company’s values allow for a culture which creates a hostile work environment. In either case, if you aren’t in C-level management, your chances of transforming the company’s values are not good. CEOs find affecting this sort of change very difficult. Your best bet is probably finding a job with a company that shares similar values to your own.
- Problems with Coworkers and Teams: As is particularly the case in the IT industry, the success of your career often depends heavily on your coworkers and teams. After all, coworkers and teams can cause the projects you are on to fail, which can stall or derail your career no matter how well you hold up your end of the bargain. When your job puts the incompetence and/or personality flaws of your coworkers and teammates in the way of your career advancement, it may be time to take your skills to a new team.
- Lack of Challenge and Poor Skill Utilization: Few things are more frustrating in the employment world than being in a position which does not provide you with the challenge you desire, nor utilizes the skills you bring to the table. That is also born out in the data, as Gallup concludes that workers who believe they are a poor fit also believe they are not doing what they do best. If you leave your job each day with a feeling of untapped potential and unused talents and skills, that may be a sign that you should be looking for a new job. Perhaps you want to be working on a broader array of projects, or with the leading edge technologies and methodologies. Don’t be afraid to look for that ideal job which both challenges you and takes advantage of all you can bring to the table.
- Burnout: Are you constantly stressed out at your job? Do you dread going to work each day? Have you lost the passion you once had for what you do? These are all symptoms of job burnout. When common stress management techniques fail to alleviate your burnout, a change of scenery may be the best option for you. When you reach this point, it is especially important that you can identify major causes of stress which are specific to the company with whom you currently work.
If one or more of these reasons apply, finding yourself a new job may be your best available option. Should this be the case, keep in mind you don’t have to go at it alone. Looking for a new job that meets all your requirements can seem like a daunting task. This is where companies like TDK Technologies can help. With a group of clients who have consistent needs for IT resources and an internal project team with a wide array of challenging projects, opportunities for IT professionals are always there. A knowledgeable recruiting staff will understand your personal and professional needs and can improve your chances of matching you with the ideal IT opportunity.