Everyone gets frustrated at their jobs at some point. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to find a new job. Sometimes, however, people need a change, and they don’t know when to move. Here are some clues to help you discover if you should stay at your current job or move to another one.
Career Change v. Job Change
Changing a career is a much different choice than changing a job. Changing jobs might mean that instead of being a corporate accountant for one specific firm, you move to a new position at an accountancy firm. The particulars of your job change: you have a new location, new coworkers, a varied client list. The essence of your job stays the same.
When it’s time for a new job
If you really love what you do at work, but you think that your boss is a jerk or you think that you are being underpaid, then you should consider changing jobs. You could stay in the same field that you are in, but find a much better environment in which to do that work. If the salary is the major issue, you might not even need to change jobs. Research what the typical wage is for your position, and then speak to your boss. Asking for a raise can be daunting, but it can also be worth it in the long run if it is properly done. Leaving a job because the money is bad is not a reason to go, unless you have been denied a raise, or unless you find a new, higher-paying position elsewhere that you think you would like.
When it’s time for a new career
If you are a high school teacher, and have been a high school teacher for twenty years, you might be thinking to yourself, “But what else am I qualified for?" If you are only staying in the position that you currently in because it is easier than leaving, or because you don’t know what else you would do, it’s time for some career counseling. You can often get career counseling services from local schools and universities. There are also independent firms. For a small price, you walk away with a more in-depth knowledge of your personality and what might suit you.
Fear is often a motivating factor in staying in a job. If you don’t like your job, you are doing a disservice to yourself and to others by staying in it. You won’t be doing the best possible work, you will be less pleasant to work with or for, and as such you make it more difficult for yourself to be there. One way to mitigate the fear that you might feel about leaving your current job is by staying at your current position until you are assured a new job. Don’t quit your job first without having your new job lined up. You can do career counseling and job searching while you are still working.
You’ve decided to leave, now what?
Don’t burn any bridges when you leave. Politely explain to your supervisor why you have to leave (higher wages, better location, new experiences to widen your horizons). Always ask for a reference when you leave. You can get a letter of reference, and get permission to put your last supervisor on your resume as your boss.
If you are looking for a new job, you will want a new resume. Visit The Guide to Resumes (see link below) for information on how to improve and update your resume so that employers will be clamoring to hire you.
Shannon Columbo is the editor of The Guide to Resumes . This site has information on how to write a stellar coverletter, how to make your resume catch prospective employer’s eyes, and how to make your interview memorable. The Guide to Resumes is the first step towards the job you want and deserve!