IT Employment

Know when it's time to change jobs

If you're thinking about changing jobs, it's important to honestly examine your reasons why.

If you're thinking about changing jobs, it's important to examine your reasons why. First ask yourself, why it is you want to change jobs, answer truthfully, and weigh the bad reasons against the good.

If you are considering a change because there are things you don't like about your job and you think there will be something out there that's better, keep in mind that no job is perfect. There will inevitably be things about any job that you don't like. Just make sure the reasons you want to leave are strong enough that you can deal with possibly getting a job with an equal number of drawbacks.

If you are leaving because you don't get along well with your coworkers or your boss. This is the time to be truthful with yourself. Are your problems with those people because of them or you, or your possibly unattainable expectations of what they should be. If it really is your coworkers or boss, then by all means, look for something else.

Here are some more issues to consider:

Your pay -- Do your research. What is the pay scale for your job in your geographical area? Your commute -- If you are the kind of person who hates time spent in the car, like me, then a long commute could be a major drain on your happiness. You should seriously factor this in when deciding how much you like your current job. How do you feel when you wake in the morning of a workday? -- Do you wake up with dread? Do you find that you're having more minor health issues--stomach upset, headaches--than you normally would? Your body can tell you when something is wrong with your lifestyle way before your mind will.

Start your job search while you're still employed. Knowing that you have a few irons in the fire can help you put up with an unhappy situation.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

21 comments
pflapham-23737826629493199154303227527571
pflapham-23737826629493199154303227527571

I really love my job! I really wake up before my clock and get ready to go! It's fantastic! It's the truth. I also remember... that about 15 years ago it dawned on me: Annual pay increase (about 3%) - Annual Cost of Living increase (about 4%) = negative 1% buying power every year. The longer you stay with a company the less you have. The only way to get ahead of the curve is to change employers. They're happy too, because they can start with less expensive replacements. It's good for everyone. So enjoy the job you love, for a couple of years. hehe.. and eventually, I'll even learn how to edit my comments.

danieljdick
danieljdick

If your work situation brings feelings of dread, that doesn't mean another work situation you run to will be better. Nor does it mean that will be worse. But, instead of running away from problems, why not grow from them, study them, find out if it's something you can master, and then pick your time to move when you have a healthy opportunity to run to a situation where you have greater opportunities to grow? Have a target in mind.

fullcirclenursing
fullcirclenursing

Yes, that's "Plan A" which I know sounds extremely selfish and counter productive - but it's NOT...actually more truley honest and true to real motivations. If you analyze that a situation/goal etc. is "good for me" in SOME form - then it's worth staying and playing out that string. Otherwise you're lying about motivations or living out some twisted psychology/co-dependency....this could be improving my relationships with co-workers, advancing my knowledge base, increasing my interest in the strategic outcomes of the company/org. that I work for.... SEE it ("what's in it for me?") can very much be GOOD for the proper running of an organization! Wish that there were MORE managements that understood this deeper motivation. I have worked for one or two that hadn't "drank the koolaid" and who were the MOST motivating/get-it-done managers I ever had - YET they were very clear that we (me and them) were always IMPROVING my situation/interest/income as best it could be done. Therefore ONE of these orgs. was the LONGEST that I ever worked for ??? The converse is to try to keep employees down as much as possible and try to make it clear that "we USE you,,,not the opposite" and I see employees (at least those that are functional) leaving these places in droves...constant hiring/retraining/extra REAL expenses !

Trs16b
Trs16b

Waking up dread (reference to MegaDeath here?) means it's over. You should be able to see the writing before you hit this point. I've found over the years this usually hits when a company or industry is in trouble. Budgets dry up, projects get cancelled, stagnation sets in. Morale goes into the toilet. I've also had it hit because I had done everything there was to do for a company and the job turn into managing the same systems day after day. Dust off the resume and don't be afraid to jump!

gechurch
gechurch

Personally, I've always found that if I am thinking about changing jobs, it's time to go. The jobs I have enjoyed most I have always been too busy working and achieving to think about things like this. When I start thinking about the possibility of changing, it always means for me that it's time to do it; no further analysis needed.

treyler
treyler

Sometimes an employee gets to the point that nothing is going for them at the job. Promotions always go to someone else. Often times someone they train is the one that gets the promotion or the company goes outside. No training is offered to give them new skills they want and deserve. They get no recognition for what they do and there is nothing positive offered to them.

Pravat
Pravat

If an organization fails to create some sort of job satisfaction for their employees, which results in motivational issues, which at the end amounts to what I call the Trigger Point, where the belief sets in and the thinking process about moving on. Its like a time bomb, sooner or later. At times people blame it to the office politics, but the matter of fact is "politics is in proportionate to the equal amount of involvement you have in it". The saying goes, "people leave managers, not companies", but its not always true, as it also depends on the organizations capabilities to provide growth, either horizontal or vertical.

reisen55
reisen55

Everyone should, at their peril, have a job like this ONCE in their life so they can appreciate all the other jobs they have had. In 2006 I was performing IT support for three major New York City hospitals and it was a life killer. (Oddly appropriate). There were over 11,000 computers, no inventory, malware -virus - and porn were rampant and the outsourcing company had ZERO controls in place to do anything or prevent anything. We were understaffed, had poor managers. One employee took time off and a week later our manager said he would be gone for only a month - in India to get married!!! WOW, THANKS FOR TELLING US THIS. And the "end user" was not really a doctor but a PATIENT wired up in a bed. Doctors could often not get to patient data because the systems were soooooooo badly infected. And 30 computers were simply stolen one day. Gone. One in a cafeteria was stolen too, cable cut. Outsourcing firm just adjusted inventory to HIDE THE THEFT. Horrible. I eventually hated HATED going to the train to work there.

GreenPirogue
GreenPirogue

I love the things I do, my co-workers, I work from home so the commute is a breeze, I am paid well and I feel great about waking up in the morning. I am well-respected, and people at my work want me to be on their projects. I still want to leave because there is no upward mobility. I am really good at what I do, and my current boss doesn't want me to change what I have been doing. I have been working at the same position for about 6 years, and a promotion I was promised was taken away a few days later because I was more valuable to the company where I am. I am negotiating at a company in another location that has chances for growth professionally (and not the "you get to do more advanced and interesting stuff for the same pay" but the professional growth that also comes with different titles). The one downside is that I will no longer be able to work from home. I think Toni missed career advancement - that can be a biggie.

panyakorah
panyakorah

it all about motivation wen i started working i used 2 look forward 2 anoda day at the office but sometimes now i feel as if...................just as u said dead on......but i believe if you have a positive attitude you will come out tops,always no job is all good likewise none is all bad find the good in any job and improve on it

muralikathula
muralikathula

Most of the job changers I met personally, changed their jobs because of their boss being the primary reason.

Some guy_z
Some guy_z

The paragraph about how you feel when you wake in the morning of a workday morning is dead on.

nick.mier
nick.mier

I think it comes down to motivation. If you're not motivated then you can drag down others around you, they will become less engaged and you'll no longer consider them to be part of the team. As someone that's happy in their job it is very difficult to work with colleagues who ultimately do not really care about the job. Unfortunately this is the most common type of colleague that I meet. There are good exceptions though. The more you put in the more you get out...

reisen55
reisen55

Quitting a bad job is one thing, but good old INDIA and all of that cheap IT labor force there makes ANY IT JOB A DANGEROUS JOB.

WishtobeIT
WishtobeIT

Great comment, however, the last statement "The more you put in the more you get out" is, unfortunately a "CORPORATE SOUND BITE" that just is not the reality. We have overworked, understaffed employees in our company. The quality has gone down, errors are off the chain, many people work OT on weekdays and weekends and they only thing they care about is getting the work down. No resources. No concern for employees that are getting sick (Toni's last comment) and as one motivational speaker said years ago "IS YOUR JOB MAKING YOU SICK?" For many around here, it is-literally. So, "The more you put in the more you get out" IS NOT true in the real, average workplace. The reality: "The more you put in, the more they want, the more mistakes are being made because people are beat down mentally and physically." We're dealing with human beings, not an octopus with eight hands/arms :-)

Bob_or_Fred
Bob_or_Fred

While there are many times when sound bites aren't always accurate, there are times that they are. Note though that it's all relative to what the expectations are for the job. If you're in a job where they expect their IT staff to be overworked and understaffed, then working extra hours isn't going above and beyond, it's simply doing what's expected. In that case it's probably better to find a job with more realistic expectations.

nick.mier
nick.mier

Funny but I am one of the people you refer to, I constantly work weekends (unpaid) or at least some hours over the weekend, I check emails when I wake up and all day every day but I can honestly say I've been rewarded for my hard work along the way, with different size companies the first being military. I'm not corporate by any means but at the same time I expect high standards and expect others to meet them and so I do believe that the harder you work the more you are rewarded.

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

In a day and age an employer doesn't want to pay extra wages, benefits, bonuses, etc. They start demanding more and more of an employee, and if that employee can't deliver 150% or more. then in their eyes, that employee is worthless. Those who manage this level of output continuously WILL suffer in health and relationships, but their bosses don't care because they got a person to do the work of more than one employee. I won't say that the sound-bite is wrong, but there is a point where the more you put in only benefits someone else outside of any family you may have.

MrHotel
MrHotel

It is a fact that we all go through slumps or bad days and sometimes even bad weeks when we just don't care, don't give it our best...but what if that week turns into months? If you just don't have what it takes to give it your best, something needs to change. This is a common sign of burnout or of being overworked, under-worked, under-challenged or out of your depth. If lack of motivation is the only issue, it may be possible to effect change within your current company by requesting different responsibilities, more training or another position. But if none of these options is available, it's time to update your resume and maybe change jobs! I just changed my job and am working for Hotel N├╝rnberg now. Since 6 month now and I am more than happy to work in the touristic hotel branche!

kariadams
kariadams

If you are consistently working from the time you get up until the time you go to bed and have been doing that for several years, then you are not being rewarded, you are being used. If you are not management, you can have all of the expectations you want, but you cannot expect that everyone around you possesses the same goals. If you are ensuring that departmental goals are met by working all of time, with a large portion unpaid, then you are carrying too much of the burden. Once one person takes on that much responsibility it is very easy for others to stand back and watch that one person do all of the work. If you are management, then shame on you. You are not managing effectively if you are working all of those hours. Management is about achieving high levels of uptime or service, or whatever it is that you do, but management is also about motivating and empowering others to achieve those standards. Again, if you are putting in all of those hours, your team is not pulling their share of the load. There is an old saying about people who work all of the time. That saying is simply that no one has anything written on their gravestone about working a lot of hours during their lifetime. A gravestone usually mentions the person's role in the family, e.g., Mother, Father, etc., but nothing, if anything, about work. If you have a family, why are you denying them your time/love? Waking up one day, when your kids are grown, and realizing that you don't know them because of your own "high standards" in the workplace, is very sad. You and your family are missing out on the basics of life because you think that you are the only one at work with "high standards". Believe me, you are not the only one with high standards, but others realize that having high standards in the workplace is not as important as having high standards within the family. And the family is where the real rewards are.

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