If you find yourself wishing you were anywhere else but the office and continually scouring job boards online, it may be time to prod that thought a little more. You may try to stop yourself by thinking that you’re barely three years into your contract, and jumping ship now will harm your chances of getting a job. But that’s not the case anymore. Perceptions of job hoppers and the value they can bring to employers have changed, and here we are going to talk about how it may be the best decision you can make to help yourself grow as a leader.
It's Okay to Think About Leaving
There’s no need to beat yourself up over the doubts you’re starting to have about your current position. The days of a stigma against short-term employment are coming to an end, with more and more employers accepting the new trend brought about by the younger generation and the rapidly changing economy.
Indeed, millennials are learning to expect more from their workplaces — they value continuous learning very highly, developing skills, and climbing up the ladder in their fields. Gone are the old notions of staying loyal to a single company during your entire professional life. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the average American now changes jobs around 12 times.
Job hoppers who find themselves in a different position every few years inevitably develop leadership skills coveted by most businesses. For example, they are more motivated to give their team their best during their short stay in a company, exceeding expectations regarding performance. They can also adapt to new environments and challenges quickly with confidence that can only come from switching jobs and learning new things regularly.
Is It Time for You to Go?
Of course, this is not all to say that you should immediately pack up your desk and go. Although changing jobs is becoming less stigmatized and much more straightforward, it’s still a big decision that requires careful thought.
In most cases, working with a career coach or executive coach can make a world of difference for your well-being and decision making. It helps you reframe your situation and identify the areas where you’re not showing up empowered. Perhaps you haven’t been communicating with authenticity and expressing what is not working for you in a way that your manager and team can understand.
Only when you have taken the time to explore your role in the situation can you make an accurate assessment and cross off the critical factor in this entire equation, you. Unless you do this reflective work, you’re likely to repeat the same behaviors in a new company and with a new team. All you would be doing is changing the geography, the context. Remember, you always take “you” wherever you go.
With this approach in mind, if you have checked in and explored whether you’re a culprit or not, it’s time to investigate the other factors. Sit down and ask yourself what is driving you to think of leaving, and list down your reasons. Below are some of the most common and valid reasons employees give when leaving a job.
Clients who work with us obtain the tools, strategies, and renewed perspective to address these situations and once they remove themselves as a potential factor, they’re able to move forward confidently.
You have irreconcilable differences with the team
If you go to work every day dreading having to talk to your co-workers and your manager, then it’s most likely time to go. A cultural fit is something that good recruiters know to look for, but sometimes a mismatch slips through the cracks. Situations like these are unlikely to change, and you’re better off with a team you enjoy working with and a manager that can bring out the best in you.
Your career has grown stagnant
Having the same job title and description for years with no progression can be tiring. The human mind craves learning and challenges. This reason is precisely why top companies in the United States spend billions of dollars on training and development programs for their workers. If you think you can find a company that can offer these opportunities, then it’s time to start writing your resignation letter.
Your mental state is suffering
Results from a survey by Gallup found that 53% of workers value work-life balance and personal well-being. And why shouldn’t they? If you find that you’re always thinking of work in a negative way even when you’re out with friends or at home, then it may be time to bail for your sanity.
Make a Graceful Exit
If you’re secretly looking for jobs while building an exit strategy, a helpful tip is to keep your LinkedIn and other job-seeking platform profiles updated.
For many of our clients who are seeking new roles, they need support creating a compelling resume and LinkedIn profile, which reflect their achievements and the impact they’ve had in previous roles. From experience, most resumes provide a “laundry list” of job functions and don’t portray the impact or attributes that helped the employee excel in the role. A compelling resume and profile can make the difference between attracting a recruiter, a hiring manager, and landing your next role.
When sending out applications, define what skills and experiences are transferable to the job opportunity, and get specific. At this stage, it’s especially important to reach out effectively. Special Counsel’s cover letter samples for email introductions point out how you must summarize your strengths, skills, and experience by finding a way to connect them to the position to which you are applying. In no time, you’ll be called in for an interview and shaking hands with your new manager.
When you’re about to make the big jump, it's crucial to focus on what you have to do to make a graceful exit. Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to burn bridges when you don’t have to. Additionally, good leaders announce their resignation in person and provide an honest but reassuring reason to avoid panic. Even if you were unhappy in the company, there’s no reason to badmouth them as you leave—it will only make things harder for your colleagues when you’re gone.
How a New Job Can Help You Grow as An Expert in a Nutshell
Any major decision can feel overwhelming and even discouraging at times, but the best things can also come from making these choices for your future. The situations you stay in are entirely in your control; it’s just a matter of taking the necessary steps to escape the wrong ones and walk through better doors.
Make sure you seek the right resources and support as you consider a role change with a new organization. For many of our clients in career transition, we’ve been able to help them navigate compensation negotiations that resulted in 30% to 55% in overall increases. The increases are the result of us partnering to position their skillset and unique value powerfully, targeting the right fit, and going after the right companies where those contributions are handsomely rewarded.
Once you’ve finally decided on a path, the only thing left to do is to take the micro-steps and act. We previously covered how to conquer your fears and achieve your goals in our article on ‘How to Crawl, Walk, and Run to Success in Your Life.’ Part of the discussion is to visualize yourself achieving these goals, and to ask the important question—what's stopping you from getting there?
Whatever you decide, be fearless! (act despite the fear)
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With love and gratitude,
Dr. Ginny Baro is a certified, international executive coach, motivational speaker, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work.
Ginny specializes in helping executives develop leaders, maximize performance, and increase profits. As a career strategist, she partners with talented individuals who are navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their professional careers.
Where do you want to be 12-months from now? Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session and learn for yourself how she can support you to begin creating the results you want. For additional support, join our community and receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox. Read other articles on our blog, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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