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Mar 27, 2015

How do you know when it’s time for a change? (part I)

Author: Adriana Andreescu

I thought we should shed some light on an issue I come face to face with every day as an IT Recruiter: change is not always the fair solution, while in other cases it can be a breath of air. How can you tell if you’d benefit most from changing your approach, or from changing employers?

In my experience as a recruiter, I’ve found there are three types of potential candidates:

1. Those who are not willing to change jobs.

This is especially true of people who feel their job is very stable, because the environment, projects and daily tasks continue to be a good fit.

2. Those who feel like it’s time for a change, after spending 2 – 4 years within a company.

The need for change is often brought on by the desire to learn more, to engage diversity and challenging novelty, especially when it comes to the technology field. You might consider focusing on finding a routine-free job, with constantly-changing tasks and lots of learning

3. The ‘job-hoppers’.

Among many candidates, there is this mirage of jumping from one job to the other. If you find you can’t stay in any place for too long, it’s best to be careful – in the end it’s possible you’ll find yourself reliving your past job-experiences, and you might benefit from a change in approach, rather than a change in employers.

I’ve heard all kinds of reasons when it comes to changing jobs: ‘I’m no longer interested in the project, I don’t feel challenged’; ‘I just want a change’; ‘I don’t get along with my new supervisor’; ‘I want more financial satisfaction’ – and I could go on listing reasons I’ve heard over the years. In a field with so many opportunities for a technical professional, when is it a good time for change? Let’s look at some of the subtleties you should pay attention to when it comes to making a professional change.

You don’t ‘feel like belonging’ in the company anymore

If the project you’re working on no longer manages to spark your interest and enthusiasm, maybe it’s time for some professional soul-searching: is it the project itself? Do you feel you’ve learned all you can from it, do you feel like you’ve been doing the same thing for too long, and routine is not what you’re looking for? When you’re no longer excited about your daily tasks, you’ve lost your interest. If so, you should probably try talking to your manager about the opportunities within your company. Maybe there are ideas you could look at together, and ways for you to work on fitting in.

You feel that your job is not making full use of your potential

Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Accept new responsibilities – though they might lead to some sleepless nights, your professional life will be far more satisfying.

If you feel like your employer is not making full use of your talent, you should see what you can do to improve this. Think of an effective way to change that, without rushing into changing jobs. It’s probably best to attempt to change your approach before changing the employer, because if it’s more of a communication-related problem, you’re likely to carry it with you wherever you go.

But what if it’s just not the type of professional environment you thrive in, a mismatch with your personality? Keep in touch with us through our RSS feed, and don’t miss my next article. I’ll be exploring the importance of finding the right company culture, and, finally, getting into detail with how to approach this important change, once you decide it’s the right thing for you to do. Until then, I’d love to hear some of your insights: how do you manage your professional expectations? Leave me a comment, or get in touch by email and let me know what you think!

Comments

  1. Vlad Sorin says:

    An interesting and very real-life article. The people from the 1st category are very dangerous as long as they are not balancing their “willingness to not change” by taking new responsibilities, new challenges, new roles. I’m usually belonging to the 2nd category but when I’m felling motivated by the new roles, responsibilities and challenges I’m moving toward the 1st one. In fact, I’m balancing between 2 and 1. The 3rd category is just for mercenaries.

    1. Adriana says:

      Thank you, Vlad, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it.
      Indeed, ‘balancing between 2 and 1’ is, I think, the healthy attitude for most people, in most fields of work.

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