We help a lot of people with job applications so we learn a lot about peoples’ reasons for moving on. The motivations for making the move are many and varied. Here are six of the most typical:
1. Flogging a dead horse
Mark was a Sales Director in a company selling services to the Mining Sector. His targets were tough and becoming increasingly difficult to meet as cutbacks in the industry kicked in and his firm’s order book shrank. He could see that his professional brand was in danger of being damaged along with the firm’s as it struggled in a weakening market – it was just out-gunned by the bigger competitors.
He decided it was time to move to a company with stronger services and a better market proposition where he could use his skills and experience to continue to build his successful track record.
2. Onwards & upwards
Maybe you have just outgrown what your current employer can offer. If you feel that there is no upwards trajectory it may be time for you to move on. Studies often show that we master professional roles in two years and exceed in them in three. Much longer than that and you are probably looking for promotion or another job.
Peter was a Project Manager who felt capable of taking on larger and more varied projects that just weren’t available in his company because they did not have the contracts. He spoke to his employer about future potential and found that there really was none. He spent some time auditing the market and was able to secure a similar role in a larger company with more scope for career development and growth.
3. Expectations are too high
This is a tough one to admit, but are you finding yourself unhappy at work because the expectations placed on employees are beyond you? You can’t hit targets no matter how hard you try? No one likes being in this position – it is extremely stressful and the chances are your job is making you miserable. Now is the time for some honesty. You have to ask yourself if it is because the work is beyond you despite your best efforts and the training you’ve received.
We see this one all the time. Maybe you see colleagues getting the good work assignments and you’re not – you are not being trusted with the good stuff. That might tell you something. It is nothing to be ashamed of – you just need to find the right role and the right work environment where the expectations are not so extreme.
4. Another day another dollar
Yes, we all need a job to pay the bills, save a little and enjoy life. But when the entire exercise is just about the money and you dread getting up in the morning to go to work, you should ask yourself some questions. There are countless people who hate their jobs but carry on because they need the money and change is just too difficult. Just looking for another job that pays more isn’t the answer either.
You deserve a job that you will enjoy and get paid well for. With a good career audit and self-honesty you will be able to pinpoint what you would prefer to do and where.
5. Balance? What balance?
We all go through changes in our lives and some may lead to needing to reassess our priorities. Work-life balance is one choice most of us will make at some time in our careers.
Steven was a graduate recruit in a high-flying Consultancy company and loved it at first. He had worked hard to get in after graduating and had worked at a flat out pace - almost 7 days a week – for five years. Jobs with these firms are challenging, rewarding, exciting, demanding and intense, but they are not for everybody. Five years later he decided he wasn’t ready to sell his soul for a promotion and wanted fulfilling work without the extreme competitive pressure.
6. Toxic environment
You don’t choose your colleagues like you choose your friends. Most work environments are just fine. People get along and follow the unwritten rules on how to deal with each other and get on with the job. But what happens if you really hate your boss? Or the office is full of poisonous back-stabbers? Or you just plain don’t fit in? That will make your working life miserable, to say the least, so maybe it is time to look elsewhere.
Whatever reason you are facing up to, if it is time to move on, plan your steps carefully to be sure the move is right for you. Be sure not to burn any bridges on the way out – you need your current employer’s references!