JOB CHANGE: GRASS NOT ALWAYS GREENER 

So you think that it is time to start looking for a new job?  My phone is continuously ringing this time of year with people thinking about making a job change.  I don’t know what it is about Spring but it happens every year.  Perhaps it is simply the freshness of Spring or that the Winter doldrums are behind us, or that maybe companies are starting to feel more secure after Q1 ends and are advertising more openings.  Whatever the reason, my response to my clients is always the same, “Why do you want to change, what do you want to change, and why do you think the grass is going to be greener somewhere else?”

Change for change sake is usually not the best strategy.  There is a real good chance that if you haven’t done some critical thinking around why you are unhappy where you are and in what you are doing that you will find that you are simply trading in one set of problems for another.

More money is usually the first reason people tell me they need to make a change.  For most folks however this is simply a cover for something else.  In several studies conducted on employees around the world, pay is usually near the bottom of what people find satisfying about work.  But is money is truly the reason, before you jump check out the website www.salary.com to see what other companies are paying for the same job in your geographic region.  Most employers in this area are paying competitively with the market to get and keep good employees. If everything else is right with your job but you find that you are indeed being paid on the low end of the scale, why not share your salary research with your boss and ask for a raise.  I have supervised people for over twenty years and not one person has ever asked me for a raise…humm, maybe I’m paying too much?

Maybe you just don’t get along with your boss.  There is a 50/50 chance that you might be the problem. Much has been written about how to manage your boss but I believe this indeed may be a valid strategy in getting your needs met. Realize that being both boss and friend is difficult and often not the best management practice.  If possible, request a time to meet with your boss on a regular and scheduled basis.  Come prepared to lead part of the meeting directing questions to your boss to let them know you are ready for new and exciting opportunities.  Come prepared to provide your boss with facts, figures, positives and negatives about areas concerning your involvement in project for which they are responsible.

Tired of the rat race, the pressures, the responsibilities, and the deadlines of working for someone else?  Have you ever considered working for yourself?  After over 15 years as a corporate manager and nearly ten years as a small business owner, let me assure you that although the pressures might be different, my blood pressure has not significantly dropped…and guess what, health insurance costs a whole lot more.  And don’t forget things like vesting, insurance waiting periods, seniority (not to be confused with age), having to rehang your pictures or clean out your locker.

So, are you still thinking it is time to change?  If so, remember it is easier to get hired if you are still working so don’t resign until you have that signed offer letter in your hand and take a couple of weeks off before you start your next job.  You will need the break to be ready for the rigors of new responsibilities and pressures, the new boss to get to know and impress and the increased debt you will no doubt incur due to your newly negotiated salary.

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