The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

February 28, 2013

Is it Time to Look for a New Job?

To date, Abacus Group’s blog has provided extensive advice regarding new employment, including: crafting an impressive resume, identifying a target salary range and demonstrating enthusiasm in an interview.  What’s missing from the collection? The initial motivation to seek new employment. Formulating a clear understanding of the reasons why one wants to change jobs is an essential first step in any job search.  Once the biggest areas of dissatisfaction have been identified, one can more effectively begin a targeted search that best meets his or her professional needs.
Given the previous concentration on job search strategies that pertain exclusively to active candidates, or professionals who have already taken dedicated measures to procure a new job, the content below can assist passive candidates – those who have not yet officially decided to begin a job search or are perhaps unsure about doing so.  A compilation of the most important signs that one’s job is no longer beneficial to career growth, this list should prove helpful for anyone who has become apathetic, overwhelmed, unchallenged, etc. in his or her current position and seeks confirmation that it is indeed time to look for a new job.

Learning opportunities are stagnant
One of the most valuable aspects of a job is the continuous development of new knowledge and skills. Opportunities for learning on the job might take the form of handling unfamiliar challenges or completing diverse projects. By continuously learning in these types of situations, a professional remains engaged and intellectually stimulated by his or her work.  When the ability to learn dissolves, though, work becomes mundane and quite likely a source of resentment.

No possibility for advancement
The ability to advance within an organization is essential to one’s overall career development. Over time, a career should naturally progress to include greater responsibility and a growing knowledge of one’s chosen field.  Without opportunities for advancement, though, employee satisfaction is bound to suffer, reports a 2011 study from University of Iowa. To remain happy and motivated, professionals should ensure that their positions offer the potential for growth.

Compensation does not fit
Of course, money should never be the sole factor in employment-related decisions, but salary and benefits are obviously important to one’s financial well-being, and they should appropriately correspond to experience and capabilities.  The compensation for a position should properly align with market averages, based on industry, level and geography.  Assuming that one has already unsuccessfully requested a raise, there is no sense remaining in a financially insecure position.

Poor relationships with colleagues and/or supervisors
While a genuine appreciation for the nature of one’s work is crucial to job satisfaction, the relationships with co-workers and managers are just as important.  Given that full-time employees spend the majority of their waking hours at work, it only makes sense to ensure that one’s job brings some degree of interpersonal contentment. Favorable connections with others – whether they are above, below or on-par with one’s level in the company hierarchy – help an employee to remain emotionally healthy within the workplace.  Without companionship or respect in the office, an employee will inevitably be unable to give his or her best effort.

Lack of passion and enthusiasm
Similar to the absence of learning opportunities, a lack of genuine interest in the position is detrimental to one’s professional fulfillment. While the work may have been inspiring or exciting initially, it’s completely possible that the employee’s professional interests and goals have changed over time. What seemed like a perfect fit four years ago may now be producing extreme boredom. If a disengaged employee has already tried in vain to take on new or more diverse responsibilities in order to ward off apathy, a position with a new organization may be the best solution.

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