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It is time to change your job when....

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

Is there an ideal period for us to consider changing our job or the organization?

Changing of a job is a pretty common practice in the current world. It is often said that compared to the baby boomers, the millennials change the job often. The days of ‘lifetime employment with a single company’ is slowly vanishing across the world.

Japanese are known to be one of the few people who stayed with the same employer for a lifetime and at times even encouraged their children to follow their footsteps and continue with the same employer. This was especially so during the postwar era when Japan was recovering from the destruction of the war and employers ensured that every employee was treated well so that the turnover was minimized. The employers often recruited individuals at a very young age of 18. The qualifications for the job was not the education or the skills but more of an aptitude and attitude. Employers were confident that employees with the right attitude can always be trained for any skills.

But even in Japan, this trend of ‘lifetime’ employment is slowly changing. The concept of ‘loyalty’ towards the employer is diminishing and the Japanese millennials like in the rest of the world aren’t feeling ‘guilty’ of changing jobs.

According to a LinkedIn survey conducted it was reported that job hopping amongst the millennials has increased over the years. This was due to many reasons, including the fact that the opportunities the millennials have today is much wider than what was in the past.

(Source: LinkedIn)

In the twentieth century, the technological and information revolution brought in some exciting new developments in the areas of jobs and careers. For instance, the Y2K problem - the scare of the entire computers in the world shutting down on 01 January 2000 threw up a plethora of jobs in the entire world. While the internet and technology improved efficiency and made many jobs redundant it also created plenty of new jobs which were in the past did not exist.

While the technological revolutions swept the developed world, countries like India took advantage of the situation and because of the knowledge of English and the number of science and engineering graduates it boasted, new areas like Call Centre, Medical Transcription, etc. opened up. More jobs were created in these fields and hundreds of thousands of young people found themselves to be in these jobs. Today a number of other countries have joined this bandwagon of ‘outsourcing’ and it became a major contention for countries like USA where the citizens have started protesting of ‘sending jobs overseas’.

With the growing opportunities in different areas, the available jobs also increased leading to plenty of options for the right skilled person. Stories are told about the anxiety neurosis some millennials face if they do not get an interview call from the recruiters at least once in six months! Someone who continues in a job for more than 2 years is considered ‘not marketable’ by the peers!

Why do people change jobs?

Money: One of the primary reasons why people change jobs is for higher salary. Research shows that every time a person changes jobs there is a salary increase of at least 10-20% tempting people to look for opportunities even before the ink on the contract they signed with the current employer has dried up! Because of the current economic situation, the annual increase in salary in a job reducing to 4-5% or even lower, many opt to change employers in order to increase their salary.

Unhappy with the boss: It is said that very often employees leave the ‘boss’ rather than leave the company. We all spend the majority of our waking hours at work and if the environment where we work is not conducive or supportive, chances are that our unhappiness increases and consequently our productivity suffers. This becomes a vicious cycle leading either to us losing our jobs or we actively start looking for a job. There would be many instances that we are willing to take up a new job either at the same salary, or even for a lower one!! Such is our anxiety to get rid of the current boss.

End of the Road: At times we find our career hitting a stumbling block in the organization we are working for. Despite our best efforts and enhancing our skills and experience, no promotion or recognition comes through. Either due to the characteristic of the industry we are working or the ineptness of the organization we are working for, we find that we are going nowhere in our career. The only way out of this rigmarole is to find a different organization to work for.

Getting bored: ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ is applicable in our careers too. After a few years of doing the same job over and over again, boredom sets in and the excitement of the job vanishes. Monday is a repeat of the Friday of last week and Tuesday of the Monday! The opportunities to excel or to learn are minimum in such organization leading to frustration.

Lack of recognition: This is another major factor why people leave jobs. Organizations which do not recognize and reward talent often find themselves with high turnover. Employees are not motivated to work for such organizations which do not support the initiative or creativity of the employees nor are there any structured strategy to recognize talented employees. For employees who have employers who do not value or recognize the talent and skills of their employees, is like throwing “pearls before swine” according to Bible.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast

ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them

under their feet, and turn again and rend you. – Mathew 7:6

Is there an ideal time to change your job?

While researchers agree that there is no ‘ideal time’ to change your job, if you have developed and improved your skills in the current job and do not find opportunities for a career growth, you should always consider changing your employer. Money should not be the only primary factor for considering changing of the job.

While changing your jobs too often (less than 2 years with any employer) is still frowned upon by the recruiters, continuing in the same job without any advancement for years is also equally questioned. If you have been with the same job for several years and have been overlooked for raises or promotions it obviously means that there is something lacking which needs a serious review and that the organization is not feeling the value addition by the individual.

Changing jobs brings anxiety as well as excitement. There is always a desire to prove yourself in the new job. Unfortunately, very few organizations have a structured and well-designed employee orientation and mentoring program which can tap into the immense potential of a newly joined employee. The new recruit is brimming with confidence, excitement and loyalty for having been hired. The orientation and the mentoring program of any organization should be able to tap into this brilliant source of energy. If not tapped properly the confidence, excitement and loyalty dilutes in a slow manner and vanishes after a certain period.

There is no ‘correct time’ to change jobs. But we should use the opportunity of our current job and use every opportunity to learn and improve our skills, knowledge and education, which will help us not only to improve our position in the current job but also make us ready for a new job in a new organization.

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