It’s a question most employees and many employers will consider at some stage in their careers.
Change, as they say, is inevitable.
Perhaps you have lost the passion for your job. Maybe you’re in a rut or find yourself heading in a different direction to the business.
Then again, you may just want a new challenge.
Before you make the big decision to leave your job, or the industry entirely, consider these things:
1. Are you doing it for the right reasons?
It’s easy to be wooed with the promise of more money, better incentives and perks, but I’d encourage you to consider the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s often greener where you water it.
2. A change should put you in a better career position
There is little value in swapping like for like. It sets you back in opportunities for promotion or shareholding (if that’s what you’re after) and can damage your reputation in a client’s eyes if you move around.
3. Have you spoken to your manager?
Leaders want to keep good people. If it’s a matter of growth, pathway or wanting to try something new, don’t jump ship right away. Speak to your manager and see if there is an opportunity where you are. It’s great to show loyalty to a business that has invested time and money in you. It’s a win-win if you can continue to grow with them.
4. How will a change affect your lifestyle?
Will you have to commute further, or less? Is it easy to find a car park or catch public transport? How will this impact you and your health? There’s a great Tom Rath book called Eat Move Sleep which talks about this. Even if you’re not looking to change jobs, it’s a solid read.
5. If you’re still unsure, write a pros and cons list
It takes the emotion out of your decision and will quickly show you where the right choice lies.
The capacity to add value is essential for any team member to feel empowered and engaged.
If you’re no longer making a difference and playing your part, maybe you’ve outgrown your workplace or are on a different journey.
That’s ok, but there is a way to leave a job, and a way not to.
If you do decide it’s time for a change, I’d encourage two things:
1. Speak to your boss
A decent manager should support and encourage you to make a change that is right for you. Being open and transparent with your manager makes the process of looking for a new job far less stressful.
You don’t have to rush off to interviews on your lunch break, and you can list your manager as a referee, which is a plus for the business interviewing you.
2. The way you leave a workplace leaves a lasting impression
I’ve had some exceptional team members work right up until the last minute, doing everything they could to hand over a clean portfolio.
Others, not so much. Who do you think I’d hire again in the future or provide a glowing reference for?
Leaders play a big part in how well a team member transitions out of a business.
It’s never fun getting a resignation letter, especially in the absence of a courteous heads up, but this is out of our control.
We can control how we react.
I’d encourage you to reflect and, while I appreciate it’s not always black and white, consider:
- What atmosphere do you create when someone resigns?
- Do you celebrate their decision and support them, or do you talk about them negatively to other team members?
- Do you do anything to see them off? A lunch, afternoon tea, or a farewell gift? Or do you unceremoniously march them out of the building?
The way we react as leaders sets the tone for how other staff will behave when they are looking for a change.
Make it easy for them, and yourself, by fostering an open, trusting environment to have these conversations.