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 Determining This Summer If It Is Time To Move On

By Joe Stein

As busy as the Summer can be, it is also a great time to reflect on your current job, and whether you should continue in the role.  When you are sitting outside, out on a walk, or doing some yard work, I encourage you to think a little bit about your career.  You may find that one of two things will happen: either you will determine that your current employer is the best place for you to be, or it will lead you to checking out the market.

If you do decide to enter the job market, is a great place to get started.  You can create a Profile, register for the e-jobs alert, or post your resume.  Use whatever combination of methods is best for you to be informed and to connect with employers.

You may wonder about what areas you should review when you are determining if it is to move on from your current job.  Below are some examples of what many people find is important:

• Company Performance – It is common for many of us to “hang on” too long with our employer, often ignoring the warning signs of financial difficulty. I am of the belief that you want to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to leaving due to weak company financials.  In other words, take control and start looking for new employment prior to being told that your location, division, or company is downsizing or even closing.  There are a number of warning signs if you look for it, such as reduced hours, lower inventory on hand, and hiring freezes.
• Supervisor Relationship -   No one should underestimate how important the relationship you have with your employer can be towards your job satisfaction.  If your supervisor situation is a strong one, it can cause you to overlook some other areas of concern.  On the other hand, a poor relationship can cause your work environment to be unbearable.  Instead of complaining about your boss to your family and friends, do something about it and find a new job.
• Compensation – All of us think about our pay and it does not seem like anyone feels they are paid enough for what he or she does. This topic goes beyond just how you feel, however, and facts really come into pay.  There are several questions to ask yourself, such as, “Have you received annual merit increases”, “How do you compare with the external labor market”, and “Are you slotted correctly with your co-workers”.  There is considerable market salary data available on the internet, and simply discussing compensation with your peers can help you understand where you stand within the company.
• Your Motivation – In today’s world, work can be so consuming that it is pretty easy to find yourself burned out.  If you are feeling that way and a vacation away from work (if you can get away for a week) does not recharge you, then it may be time to make a change.  This is not only a tough way to spend 40+ hours a week, but you may also find that your performance suffers when your motivation wanes (which, of course, can lead to other problems).  If you do not think you can regain your work-life balance or once again become interested in the work you are doing, then changing jobs may be what is needed.  Working with different people and changing your environment can give you a fresh start.
• The Employer’s View of You – How your employer views you is a key to deciding whether or not to stay.  Are you being passed over for promotional opportunities?  How have you been rated in your performance review (lower than you think you should)?  Are you placed on key projects or assignments?  Sometimes employer’s bypass what they have right in front of them for whatever is the new thing (in this case, a different employee).  You would like to think that a company would reward their loyal employees, but that is, unfortunately, not always the case.  Sometimes, you need to leave and move on in order to be seen in a different light.

The Summer can be a great time for a Job Seeker, since so many mistakenly decide to take the warm weather season off and will wait until the Fall to start looking again.  When you do your Summer personal review, you really do not have anything to lose. If you decide to stay, then you do so recommitting yourself to your position: if you realize it is time to move on, you may be in demand as a coveted passive Job Seeker.  Not a bad position for someone to be in!

As always, best of luck in your job search