Many times during your career you will be faced with the difficult question: is it time to move on? Should you remain in my current role at work or take the leap forward with a new opportunity?
Salary and flashy benefits packages certainly are vital pieces of information necessary to make such a decision. However, a career/job change decision based on a benefits package alone may leave you with regrets in the long run.
You should consider the following critical factors when evaluating a job change.
First, are you interested in this industry? Would you enjoy most of what the position entails? While an interest in the industry seems like a given requirement to accept a position, sadly research reveals that only 30 percent of employees are inspired and engaged at work, as determined by Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace Report.
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So why is it that 70 percent of Americans reported a lack of engagement with their work? Lack of interest in the subject matter of their work may account for some of this; however there are other factors to consider.
Personality fit is another critical factor often overlooked when facing the decision to move from one position to another.
"At Big Ass Solutions, we can train anyone willing to learn, but we can't teach someone how to fit in. Curiosity, genuine interest, intellect, and a sense of humor are only a few of the traits we look for when determining if a candidate is a good match for our corporate culture" says Jayne Jarvis, corporate recruiter at Big Ass Solutions.
Remember, the interview process is much more than an employer evaluating your background and fit with a company. It is also your responsibility during an interview to get a feel for a company's corporate culture. Ask questions such as "How would you describe the environment or culture in this company/office?" "How is success measured in this type of role?" and "How/when is feedback given?" These types of thoughtful questions will help you assess fit, a critical factor when evaluating a potential job transition.
A third factor to consider is whether you possess the skill set to accomplish this potential role well. The optimal balance between using raw or learned skill areas and being challenged in a role is a delicate one. On one hand, underemployment or working in a role for which you are overqualified in terms of education or experience can be discouraging. Alternatively, working in a role which is so challenging it is difficult to complete your projects on time is daunting.
Remember, every new role has a learning curve. One of your first tasks in a new job is to build a good relationship with your supervisor. Together you may decide that additional training and professional development is the best step forward. Our learning experience continues far beyond our formal schooling. We must always continue to seek out opportunities to grow regardless of our experience level.
One caveat to keep in mind: workplace values are very difficult to pick up on prior to joining a new office or company. Lauren Fritz, in talent acquisition at Tempur Sealy International advises: "When we are selecting exceptional talent at Tempur Sealy cultural fit is just as critical as their skill set. One of our core company values is 'we do the right thing.' We often reference this when discussing a candidate after their interviews. Our best hires not only have strong experience, they also support our culture and share the same values."
A few common workplace values include: security, flexible hours, financial gain, autonomy and intellectual challenge. With a critical eye, take the opportunity to address your motivators when changing jobs. What is important to you and what is not? Is this consistent with the mission of the company you are considering? The answers to these questions often lead to difficult trade offs with our values.
Carefully consider the balance of your professional interests, personality style, skills, abilities and workplace values when deciding if it is time to make a job change. The unique balance of your preferences in these critical areas will ultimately assist in your decision whether to stay in a role or move forward.
If you determine it is time to move on and seek out new opportunities, take the first step and make a plan for your job search with these factors in mind.