You may be fuming after a department meeting where a member of the senior management team wrongly called you out for missing a deadline that delayed a product launch. Your boss stood by and did not defend you, although he knew it wasn't your fault. Or, perhaps your boss still hasn't sat down with you for your performance and salary review, which was scheduled for 10 days ago.
In the first instance, you feel victimized, and in the second, taken for granted.
I came close to quitting on several occasions when I was employed as an entry-level account service representative in the advertising industry. The urge to change jobs was irresistible when I sometimes felt I was a "blame magnet." Despite my good work and best efforts, I felt that I would be better appreciated and happier elsewhere.
Like others starting out in the industry, I moved around early in my advertising career largely for better pay and more responsibility. But I did my best to avoid quickly changing jobs for the wrong reasons.
Here are five bad reasons to change jobs, regardless of your industry.
You feel angry and unappreciated and want to "show them" by quickly moving on
What I call a "revenge resignation" is usually an emotional response that can hurt your integrity within your organization and industry. In your attempt to get even, you may choose a busy time at work to quit, which can inflict short-term pain on your employers and colleagues. However, many people are waiting to fill your role.
Meanwhile, you will be remembered as the employee who got angry, gave up and left your team in the lurch. Instead of suddenly quitting, cool down and speak with your boss about your disappointment, giving concrete examples of where you feel you have been wronged. Even if nothing changes and you end up resigning, you will have done so with integrity and maturity, and this will be remembered.
You hear rumours your company is going to close
Rumours about the possibility of large job cuts or industry disruption are stressful. For some employees, the prospect of bad news may rank with business incivility or difficult work conditions on the stress meter.
Have a contingency plan for finding another job, but don't deploy it before you know the facts.
Social media and hyperactive news cycles process information at such a rate that errors can distort facts, resulting in bad decisions. For example, uncertainty about the future of economic tariffs can cause industry workers and business owners sleepless nights. But until more information is available, they are wise to avoid leaving their jobs.
The disruption involved in changing jobs can far outweigh the uncertainty of staying in your current job. And if the much-feared tariffs don't materialize, you will have caused yourself undue stress.
Avoid speculating and ask questions of your management team, and rely on reliable sources for your information. Have a contingency plan for finding another job, but don't deploy it before you know the facts.
You assume that you will always command top dollar wherever you land
You may have established a stellar track record as you move from job to job, earning more as your seniority increases. To assume that you can change jobs three or four more times in your career and enjoy continuous salary increases can be risky. The skills you possess today may not be as sought after down the road, especially with the onslaught of technology.
A wise approach to career planning as your success grows includes thinking hard before you accept the next financially beneficial offer. Studies show that, while still important, the value some people place on salary versus work/life balance and job satisfaction is slipping.
There is a start up with your name on it
Thoroughly researching a prospective employer before changing jobs is vital, but that can be quickly forgotten when you read media reports daily of startup companies that are posting exponential sales rates. Even if you feel confident that the leadership is strong, the company will be in business five years from now and there is quick money to be made, it can be a bad idea to change jobs based on that hunch.
Friends who have recently joined the new company may offer good reasons for you to join them. However, you are wise to remember that their career expectations and choices may not match yours.
You quit your job upon accepting an "unofficial" offer
Avoid thinking about changing jobs based on the assertion that someone can guarantee you a better job, regardless of their seniority within the company. Even if you feel you can't work another day at your current job, try not to take the promise of "greener pastures" seriously until you negotiate formally with others within the company.
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I was once introduced to a senior executive at a large manufacturing firm that wanted a marketing team to help it mark a significant business anniversary. He heard my pitch and suggested ways in which I could make it more "sellable" in his company. Hours of work later, I contacted him to review the changes only to be told he had retired the day before. My efforts to share the proposal with other management were unsuccessful, and I never heard from him again.
Changing jobs can be stressful in itself without putting yourself in a bad starting position. Make sure you are leaving your current job for the right reasons.
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