"Feeling unhappy in your job might make you want to take the first new opportunity that comes along, but you may end up regretting the decision later on" - Aimee Bateman, Career Coach
The New Year often brings a determination to make a change, whether because of New Year’s resolutions or a desire to make a new start. One common idea for making a new start is by getting a new job or a new career. However, the problem is we can fall into the trap of acting on impulse without clearly thinking through whether making that move is the best path for us. Feeling unhappy in your job might make you want to take the first new opportunity that comes along, but there may be other things you can do to help you feel happier in your job that doesn’t involve a full blown change. Below are six bad reasons to change jobs. If you’re considering a career move for one of these reasons, it may be worth questioning whether your motivation is coming from a healthy place.
You may have heard from friends about how much they love their job, or they may have got a nice big pay rise that has made you feel slightly envious. However, they probably aren’t telling you about the downsides; the increased hours, bigger workload, or added stress. Every person is different and you can’t compare your career and it’s milestones to that of people around you. Make sure if you are going to leave your job, it’s not just because you’re trying to keep up with your friends.
You may be feeling unfulfilled in your present role, feeling that you are on top of things and finding that your work now seems boring. If that is the case, do you need a completely new role? Or could you stay in your current job, ask for more responsibilities, aim for a promotion, or do some learning to increase your skills and qualifications so that you have more options when you do look for a new job?
The opposite to feeling bored is feeling overworked. A huge workload and the stress it can bring can be a major reason for making people unhappy with their job. Consider, however, whether you have an increased workload because of a deadline that will pass, whether there will be quiet periods in the future when the workload won’t be so much and you will feel happier, or whether you can talk to your manager to see if they can help by extending deadlines or adjusting your workload.
Having a bad day/week
Bad days happen to the best of us. Even if you work at a job you enjoy, it’s inevitable that you will have the odd bad day where everything seems to go wrong. It may even stretch into a bad week or a bad month and leave you feeling that a new job is the only answer. However, you should think about the good days you’ve had in the role, and figure out whether the things that made them good days are still there. Don’t let a few bad days rush you into a snap decision.
Our jobs are huge parts of our lives. Many of the people we spend the most time with will be people we work with and it’s always preferable to get along. As with any group of people though, there will be individuals you might not get on with. But, is there a need to change jobs because of a person or two you’re not keen on? Unless you have had a huge falling out, there are usually ways to tolerate interacting with a person you don’t like without too much fuss. You can try to keep contact with people you don’t like to a minimum, or if that is not possible and you’re forced to work closely with someone, keep it professional. Focus on what you are at work for, to do a job, and concentrate on yourself, what you need to do and want to achieve.
Being successful in your role over a period of time may make you want to aim higher. If you feel your success isn’t being recognised as much as you’d like, you may think that it’s time to move somewhere where it will be. Patience is a virtue though, and a period of good results doesn’t necessarily mean you will be promoted or given a pay rise immediately. Concentrate on keeping your good results going and you should eventually get the recognition you want, or if you still don’t, you’ll be in a strong position when it comes to looking for a new role.
Aimee Bateman is a career coach at AAT, and founder of career advice website Careercake.com. Over the last decade Aimee has held senior positions with some of the largest recruitment companies, been a featured careers mentor on various shows for the BBC, and written careers articles for The Guardian, Glamour magazine and TotalJobs.com
This article was originally published on the Guardian Careers website and has been reproduced with their permission.