By Aileen Hallahan, Director, TalentScope Recruitment Solutions
We all from time to time toy with the notion of changing jobs and leaving our current employer. We have bad days occasionally and this can tempt us to look at our options and considering moving to another organisation. However, take stock as there can be many benefits to staying in your current role or at least staying with your current employer.
1 – You know your current job inside and out – You are a Guru!
There is no better feeling than knowing that you do something well. Many people get their job satisfaction from knowing (whether or not it is rewarded) that you do your job well and that you know your job inside and out. Quite often we tend to forget how much knowledge and skill we have developed within our roles, and how much the company depends on us for a particular skill, or ability. It’s very easy to get complacent and feel under-challenged and also to assume the grass is greener elsewhere – it’s not always the case. Imaging feeling ill-equipped in a role, lacking in knowledge, unconfident of your abilities? Much more comfortable knowing you do your job well and know it well.
2 – Career Development/Promotion
Often when you have been in the same company for a period of time, you have had a better chance to contribute and to have your opinions listened to. You will have grown within the organisation and proven yourself by your efforts which will be tangible and quantifiable. This of course means more opportunity and more promotion. It’s likely you will be very aware of your career development path within the company you work for and know what is required of you to get there. This may be something that is not as clear with a new employer and you may also feel more confident of instigating promotion with your long-term employer.
3 – Psychological Contract
You are ingrained with an employer after a certain period of time psychologically. Usually this comes from delivering a good service/doing a good job and being made aware that you have done so. Just because you are well recognised in your current job, does not necessary mean you will receive the same recognition/praise elsewhere. Would a new employer be fully aware of your contributions? Do they value what you are bringing to the table? Career Satisfaction does ultimately come from being appreciated, so be careful that this appreciation is something you can be guaranteed elsewhere if you are looking to change jobs.
4 – Commitment (to you and from you)
The longer you work with a company, the greater commitment you are showing. Don’t get me wrong – there needs to be development both from you and from the employer. No-one wants to be stuck in a rut and going nowhere in their work/career as this can often spill out into your personal life. Progression is important and as long as there is commitment shown from both sides, generally progression will happen. Check if you are not sure about future commitments your employer can show to you in order to keep you committed to their business. E.g. training, courses, involvement in new projects.
5 – Pay/Benefits
Generally, the longer you are with an employer, the better the benefits will be. Holiday allowances sometimes increase with tenure, as well as pension contribution options and health benefits such as Health MOT check etc. Ensure you check with a new potential employer what their benefits and pay increment policies look like.
6 – Flexibility
It’s likely if you have been with your current employer for a number of years that you have become “familiar” with each other and the Do’s and Don’ts that apply mutually. As you develop in your career with the same employer, you will no doubt have gone through many life changes – house moves, marriage, bereavements, new babies etc. As a trusted employee, you may find much more flexibility for an employer who has known you throughout the years and is familiar with your personal responsibilities and therefore may be a little more flexible around essential leave, childcare and family issues.
7 – Location/Logistics and general surroundings
Speaks for itself. You are familiar with the current location of your role, the amenities – post office, bank, cleaners, favourite lunch spots, parking. There is great comfort in the daily grind to know where everything is and where to find what you need. Not a huge factor I’m sure for most but sometimes a new role will involve more travel, no parking, lack of local facilities (especially if you are based in a development on the outskirts of a city with just one shop/coffee shop) – the amount of times people have to get in their cars to get to an ATM or a post office over lunchtime can really add up and take from your break time.
8- The Grass is NOT always greener
When we are having a bad day at work, any other option can seem to be a better option but ensure that you are not going from the frying pan in to the proverbial fire! A good way to establish if a particular company is right for you is to check with current employees in terms of their job satisfaction, or you can also check for company feedback on websites like Glassdoor. You need to be sure you are ready to move and to bear in mind that you will not always get a “like for like” work situation in terms of culture, mind-set and general attitudes in the workplace. Perhaps you are used to being very busy and have a standard pressurised day? How would you fare in a quieter, less chaotic environment? Friendly banter in your current office? – What would you do if no one seems to chat to each other in your new job? Hard to know and estimate these things before you start but just bear in mind, the company might be poles apart in terms of what you are familiar with.
Taking everything into account, you should consider changing jobs and career very seriously. It can be the best thing that can happen to you or the worse, depending on where you land. First step is to know you DO want to change roles and WHY. Have you reached the top of the ladder where you are? No further long term career development opportunity? Ensure you have solid reasons for changing your job, then start your process. Changing jobs can be a full time job in itself so it requires commitment and dedication. Save yourself (and a potential new employer/recruiter) time/effort and be 100% sure before you start to look at new opportunities. Testing the market is a waste of time for you and everyone involved in that process.
If you are just having the occasional bad day at work, its’ likely you are not ready to move. Just remember all of the benefits of staying vs leaving – make a list of pros and cons and take some time to consider your decision.