When to decide if it’s time for a career change


Always be on the job search

The best way to decide if you want to change jobs is to know exactly what’s out here. Being signed up to a job alerts program is low commitment, and doesn’t mean that you’re actively looking for a job: you’re just interested in the possibilities. Ninety-nine percent of what gets recommended probably won’t be useful to you, but there’s always a chance your dream job might come up. In that situation, you don’t want to miss out because you haven’t been looking around.

There are other benefits to keeping an eye open, as well. Seeing jobs similar to your own helps you know what sort of salary you should be on for certain duties. This is a great way of working out if you’re being underpaid, particularly if you’re on a contract which means you can’t discuss your salaries with your co-workers.

Looking out for other opportunities is also a healthy way of ensuring you’re not tied to your job absolutely. Even if you’re in love with it (or think it’s the best option available), there’s nothing wrong with seeing what other options you might have. Your job is an important part of your life, but you shouldn’t be absolutely committed to it: it’s healthy to see if there’s anything which might be better suited to you, particularly as your priorities change.

Consider re-employing yourself

What if you’re currently self-employed or run your own business? Looking around on the job market is still a worthy exercise. It can be helpful to compare your current situation with what you could be earning to make sure that you’re on track – there’s no point in pouring all of your time and money into an investment that’s not working out. In this case, it might be worth re-entering the job market. Even if you’re on track, checking the job market will give you something against which to pace yourself, showing you what you should be making in the current economic environment for the same position.

Be open to re-training

Sometimes at work you’ll be given the opportunity to enter a training course or even study for an entirely new qualification. If these are relevant to your job prospects, this might be a good opportunity to move up the ladder, whether it is in your own place of work or further afield. However, you will want to ensure that you’re comfortable (and able) to stay at the company for the amount of time it takes to complete your training. Sometimes this can be a day course or only a few months, but other times it can take several years. This will largely depend on the level of training you are undertaking. Also check what type of qualification you obtain: while most should be transferrable between companies, you may get one which has no value outside that organisation and as such will only help you be promoted, not progress to work in other places.

Use your job evaluation productively

Your job evaluation meeting can be a great opportunity for you to bring up any queries to your boss you would like to raise. Although they are giving feedback to you, a good boss will ask you for your input and take into account any comments you might make. Ideally, you will want to have a healthy and productive conversation with your boss: you’re likely to find things which can improve your dynamic. That could involve taking on more, fewer, or different roles; it could be trying to negotiate for better pay. If you can’t have that conversation, meanwhile, it’s not a great sign for you working dynamic with your boss: it might be time you take your work elsewhere.