This past spring, in spite of the high unemployment numbers, hiring began to pick up in many sectors. Those who had been laid off for months or longer found themselves heading back to work. Pay rates had fallen, but work is work, and many people were still just grateful to be working.
Emerging now is a new job seeker: the person who has held on long enough and is ready to do something more. In the ten interviews I conducted this week, six people said to me, “I want to change jobs because there’s no room for growth where I am working now.” How do you know it’s time to make a career move? Look for the signs.
It might be time to change jobs if your paycheck doesn’t arrive consistently. If you are not being paid, is this the kind of volunteer work you enjoy? Along the same lines, if new hires are coming in but your former pay rate (the one they cut to save costs) is not being restored, consider this a good time to move.
It might be time to change jobs if former co-workers are calling you to come work with them. However, be careful if you are tempted by friends. While networking is still the number one way to find new work, never make a job change simply because you can. When opportunity knocks, it is fine to go to the door, but you don’t have to leave the house if you’re not comfortable. That is, a different job is not always a better one.
It might be time to change jobs if you’ve waited long enough. During the recession, people agreed to forego promotions to help their companies stay profitable. If the opportunity for challenge lags too far behind your desire for it, you might want to bring your ambitions somewhere else.
Exploring career moves can be exciting but also time-consuming. Unless you are truly ready to make a job change, stop interviewing and pour your energy into the job you have. Check in with yourself before an interview and ask, “Can I see myself working there?” If the answer is no, stay where you are.
And until you find something new, continue to succeed in your current role. If you can imagine it, you know you can achieve it, wherever you are.