People change jobs for many reasons -- money, boredom, unhappiness, lack of advancement, lack of appreciation, personal conflicts with a supervisor or co-worker, unfair treatment, and many other reasons. But how wise is it to change jobs? For what reasons? When should you change jobs? How?
Before you make a decision about your current job, let's look at the following factors that will hopefully guide you in the right direction -- or guide you in the direction that's right for you!
As you probably know, job-hopping, or changing jobs frequently, is risky.
Most successful careers are a result of working for one company for many years and building upon experience and seniority. It's usually easier to move up the salary and promotional ladder at one company than to move and start at the bottom of the ladder at a new place of employment. And employers are less apt to hire someone who moves frequently from company to company, so it can become increasingly difficult to find a job. And when you move to a new company, you lose seniority.
In most cases, you'll be better off staying at the company. Your salary or hourly wage will increase faster, you'll build a record of steady employment, and you'll have a better chance of advancing up the ladder. It's often best to stay where you are, especially if you're performing well in your present job, you are moving up the pay scale, and you enjoy your work.
When might a change be good?
A job change might be beneficial if you're unhappy, bored, and unchallenged, and no improvement seems in sight. It might be good if your performance is poor and improvement seems unlikely. It might be good if there's no prospect for advancement at the particular company where you work. It might be good if you want to completely break out of your current career.
But no matter what the reason is for changing jobs, the decision should be a rational decision - not an emotional one. And money alone, unless it's a great deal of money, shouldn't be the sole factor for leaving a job.
If you do decide to make a change, you might first want to look at job opportunities within your current company. Sometimes it's easier to make a lateral move inside the company than to leave the company altogether. Some companies actually prefer hiring workers they know from within rather than gambling on outside applicants they don't know.
If you like what you do but don't like where you work, you're probably considering a job change. If you don't like what you do, you're probably looking at a career change.
Career changes, unless you're very young, are usually the hardest to make. Often career changes require new training or education, and a willingness to return to an entry-level position when you're hired by a company in the new career field. If you're young, it's usually much easier to do.
But the older you are, the harder it is to accomplish, and the more you have to sacrifice, especially financially. You'll have less time to move up the career and company ladder, and you'll likely experience a significant drop in pay by having to start over at entry-level, unless the new entry-level position pay is equal to or better than your current wage.
Perhaps you find you like your current field, but you don't like your particular job. If that's the case, you might consider exploring another career position in that same field. For example, perhaps you no longer enjoy being a fast-order cook, but you like the food-hospitality field. What about catering? Becoming a baker? Specializing in cake decorating? Working at a large hotel or convention center that caters for special events? Operating an expresso business? Lateral career moves usually take less training and time, and you can capitalize on and transfer the many skills you already have under your belt.
On the other hand, perhaps you no longer enjoy your career field, and you don't feel you really belong there. In that case, a career change might be best for you. Analyze your feelings. Trust your instincts. If what you're doing doesn't feel right, make a change. It's much easier to succeed and move ahead in a field where you feel you really belong. And in a field you really enjoy.
One important note: If you're working with a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, it's strongly advised you discuss your job concerns with your counselor before making a job change. Your counselor can assist and provide valuable support, guidance and advice.
If you rely on a paycheck to pay for basic living expenses, including rent, food, utilities, clothing, and transportation, you're strongly advised not to quit a current job until you have secured a job at another company!
Some people make the mistake of quitting their job first, then looking for another job. They assume they'll find another job quickly, but sometimes they don't. It's a huge risk.
If you need a paycheck to survive, never resign until you have another job lined up at another company!
To resign from a job, you need to submit a letter of resignation well in advance. Providing the employer with advance notice is very important to allow the employer ample time to find a replacement.
Most company employee handbooks provide information about the company's resignation requirements and procedures, as well as guidelines on the amount of advance notice the company needs. You can also get information from the Human Resources (Personnel) Office at your company, or from your supervisor.
Generally, all companies require advance notice, but the amount of time required may vary from position to position, and company to company. Be sure to check with your company.
Most companies require resignations be submitted in writing. You'll need to write a brief letter of resignation and submit the letter to your supervisor and/or the company's Personnel Office. Be sure to submit the letter by the advance notice deadline.
Your letter of resignation should include the following basic information:
Following is a sample resignation letter. A very brief one! To view more samples, visit the following web site:
Sample of a Brief Resignation Letter:
May 2, 2002
Dear Mr. Missu:
I wish to inform you of my resignation as Office Assistant in the Accounts Payable Department effective June 15, 2003.
I have enjoyed working at Handy Helpers during the last three years, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for the company.