What to Consider Before Changing Jobs

By Matthew Cohen, Energy Management Practice Leader

Today’s companies are as aggressive as ever to recruit and retain strong individuals and they are shelling out big bucks and signing bonuses to get the best talent on their teams.  For even a passive candidate, there is certainly a wide range of opportunities to choose from, but what I have seen as a disturbing trend are candidates who take positions that they think will be the right fit and then leave two, three or six months later for a better position.

There is nothing wrong with upward mobility and there are those organizations that don’t put much stock in employee tenure.  However, many candidates who take positions just because it is in front of them may not be fully exploring their options or asking the right questions during the hiring process.  This can lead to poor tenure and a reputation for being a “job hopper” which in most industries is looked upon as a negative when reviewing a resume.

If you are considering a new position or are interested in exploring new opportunities, these are the five questions you must ask yourself before making a decision.

Am I just chasing Money?- In the war for talent, companies are doing what they need to in order to get the best people, which includes pay much high than the market rate.  There is nothing wrong with making more money, but compensation should be only one aspect of considering a position.  If it’s just about the money, it’s possible to simply ask your boss for a raise and if you are a valuable member of the team, you just might get it.  Also, if money is the only factor for changing jobs, the next position that comes along that offers you a higher salary will be very appealing. However, it might not be the best fit.

Have I told my boss I’m unhappy? For some reason, employees have a difficult time discussing their frustrations with their current employer.  In many cases once an employee shares their issues, they can be worked out or solved.  If a boss hears your grievances and does not solve them that would be a good time to start looking.

Am I leaving my job just to leave?  Often times when someone finds a new position that they are interested and they are fed up with their current employer, they will simply take a new position just so they can leave their old one, this can be a recipe for disaster if the new position they took does not fully meet their expectations or a better opportunity comes along.  This can cause your resume to have brief employer history which can have negative long-term effects on your career.

Will I be happy every day to go to work?  It may sound odd but happiness is and should be the determining factor when taking on a new position.  If there is any, even a small amount of hesitation on whether someone will be happy in a position, it may be time re-evaluate.

Have I seen all that is out there?  There are a plethora of different avenues for discovering new opportunities.  LinkedIn, job boards, recruiters, industry events and personal network can all lead to job opportunities.  Before pulling the trigger on a new position, it is important to exhaust all resources.

Before you rush to change jobs and accept a job offer, take some time to really evaluate the situation. You need to determine if leaving your current company is the best decision and if the next role is going to be the right fit for you.

Please post your thoughts and comments below.