7 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Change Jobs

career happiness success

Switching to a new job isn't easy but there comes a time that it becomes necessary.

How can you make sure that you will be happy at your new place of work?

You’ll need to think about more than just pay, benefits and the job title.

Here are seven other concerns that you need to address before you switch.

Which job offers greater opportunity for advancement?

Growth, progress and development are some of the most important aspects of a great career. Not just in terms of pay but also in terms of skills, knowledge and experience. Does your current job offer you less opportunity for advancement than the new job? A lot depends on the size of the company, its mission, future direction, business plan, industry position, work culture, technology, the turnover and so on.

So, make sure to do extensive research and talk to as many people as possible. If your new target job seems to be a better position due to its pay, but offers you less room for further advancement in the long run, you should probably wait and look for a different position with a more COMPLETE package.

Why do you want to change jobs?

Is the new job that you're considering a “rebound” job from your current job that you hate, or is it really the one that you're hoping for? Conversely, if you do see that there is a better job out there, do you find yourself reluctant to leave? Running AWAY from something and running TOWARD something are two totally different objectives. One will lead you to “someplace” away from your current position, while the other will lead you to the exact “destination” that you seek. 

So, make sure that you know exactly what is causing you the pain and what is the true motivation behind your desire to change. The individuals that have a clear understanding of themselves and what they are looking for in their next job make much better career transitions. Others end up in yet another position that they eventually will not find fulfilling.

What do you expect your new job to give you?

What is it that you hope to get from your new job: a great salary, better responsibilities, better outlook, more interesting projects or better colleagues? Before you move to a new job, consider if you're doing it for the things that you TRULY consider important; factors that truly align with your personality, interests and values.  

Perhaps you're switching for a better salary, when in reality, what you really want is greater responsibility, a better work environment or improved work/life balance. It would be a good idea to make a list of the good and bad points you see in each job and prioritize them based on your true needs and desires.

Can you hope for a great work environment?

Your new position may have all the great qualities that you need on paper. But jobs have undefinable and intangible qualities as well. For instance, if the work environment at a new company isn't as good as the one at your current job, all those great qualities could fail to make you happy. You need to take stock of the work environment, leadership style, the co-workers and the work culture when you research the new company or go to your interview.

What kind of work-life balance can you hope for?

It's important to find a job that that not only lines up with your career goals but also enables you to achieve your other objectives in your life. You must consider the kind of work-life balance you want. Research the true requirements of the job and the expectation of the leadership team. Find out about the number of hours in the typical work day, the deadlines, pace of work, level of pressure, flexibility, on call schedule, overtime and the nature of your work. Ask specific questions like if you'll be on call after work hours, if you'll be expected to answer emails at home, work on weekends and so on.

Will switching jobs affect your old professional relationships?

I always remind my clients that their network is their net-worth. You should not just advance in your career in terms of pay, skills and experience but also in terms of growing your network and professional connections. So think carefully about how your new job will impact your network.

For example, if you're moving to a competitor's company, you might need to burn a few bridges with existing colleagues and customers. Or if you are switching to a totally different industry or field, part of your network or connections may or may not be relevant. So do your homework to figure out whether the switch is worth it in the long term. 

Will your new job help you grow your leadership skills?

The opportunity to learn. grow and exercise one’s leadership and management skills and experience is an essential part of most careers. Ideally, the new position should enable and empower you to manage more people, bigger projects or larger budgets. If your new position doesn't make you leave your comfort zone, doesn’t stretch you a bit, and doesn’t lead to leadership opportunities, it may not be the right move in the long run.

On average we will spend around 80,000 hours at work. That is nearly half of our waking hours for three or four decades in the prime of our lives. We will switch jobs and careers multiple times during those years. Smart career moves will not only bring us more money, influence and growth but also more joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.

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