It’s the cold truth that the holiday season isn’t an ideal time for job seekers. Holiday parties and last-minute deadlines take priority for managers over bringing on someone new. Despite these obstacles, there’s no excuse to procrastinate on your job search if you’ve been wanting a change. There is plenty you can do during this time so that you can make a career move in the upcoming year.
If you’re on the fence about searching for a new job, here are 5 reasons why you should make a change in 2018.
Reason #1 – You’re not excited about your job
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
– Steve Jobs
While this quote from Steve Jobs may seem dramatic, it’s just as true for you as it was for him. Life is too short to spend all your time at a job you hate or that is unfulfilling. If you’ve been wanting a new job, there’s no better time than the new year to kickstart your search for change. Sure, don’t walk out the door guns blazing, and don’t quit without having a backup plan, but use this time and motivation to make your exit strategy!
Ride the New Year’s resolutions wave and use it to stay motivated through the beginning of the year. Get excited about your work life again by thinking about what you’d like to do. Research company culture at different organizations you’d like to work for. Brainstorm a list of your networking connections who could help you in your transition. Think of what you want to achieve in the next 5-10 years of your career, set some goals, and get excited about taking the steps to get to where you want to be.
Reason #2 – There’s a lack of professional development opportunities
When evaluating if your job is a good fit for the upcoming year (and the next 5 years), look at the growth options it gives you. This is particularly important for people early in their career who are creating career path plans. What will it look like if you got promoted? What does a day in the life of your boss look like? If you wouldn’t want your boss’s job, you should start looking elsewhere for professional development opportunities. Think about what next level position would be fulfilling and challenging for you. It may be at a completely different company, or in a different industry that would still use your knowledge and skills. 2018 will be the time to make a change and jump into something else, where growth and promotion are something you want to work towards.
No matter the job or industry, there’s always room to move up and always a ladder to climb, but sometimes that ladder doesn’t lead to where you want to go. If your current position doesn’t give you many options for moving up, start researching new positions. Thinking long-term is crucial to achieving success and satisfaction in your career.
When interviewing at new positions, ask about promotions and how long it typically takes workers to secure them. For example:
- How do you help facilitate the growth of strong performers in this position?
- What does professional development look like in your office?
Growth, in this case, is a great euphemism for being promoted and bumped up, so you can gain insight without seeming arrogant or too pushy. Find out what climbing the ladder will look like before you commit to anything new. Make sure it aligns with your goals before making the leap!
Reason #3 – You’re underpaid and underappreciated
Being underpaid or not reaping the benefits that give you a good work/life balance are huge reasons you should change jobs or careers in 2018. It’s no secret that many people secure higher salaries when they accept a new job offer. While it may be hard to cut ties, if a company isn’t paying you what you deserve, you don’t need to be loyal to them.
In addition to more money, it’s a good idea to find a job that is “with the times” when it comes to benefits. Work/life balance has become a hot topic and a sought-after goal by many millennial and older workers as they develop in their career. Workers have realized that they value their time as much as they value more money, so a healthy amount of vacation time is desirable. Many studies show that taking a vacation is not only good for your mental health, but it also makes you more productive in the office when you are at work.
If your company falls short in how it pays you back for the time you put in and the work that you do, look for a company that will compensate you fairly in 2018. Much like not being excited about your job, life is too short to devote your time and energy to a company that doesn’t provide you with a good work-life balance.
Reason #4 – Seize new opportunities
There’s a long list of industries and careers with strong growth projections for 2018 and beyond. If you’re looking to make a change, the time is now to get ahead. Dive into a new position before the market becomes too saturated. If you’re looking for a dramatic change, research new jobs expected to grow through 2020. Or, determine which transferable skills you have that you could bring to a new position at a different company. While it’s easy to stay in your comfort zone at your current position, it’s also important to take risks in your career. Making a jump to a new position and saying “yes” to opportunities that come your way can be scary, but it’s something that will challenge you and force you to grow.
Reason #5 – You need to stay ahead of the automation game.
And last but not least, you need a new job to avoid being made redundant by robots. A 2017 study conducted by the research firm PwC found that 38% of jobs in the United States are at risk of elimination by automation in next 15 years. For people in the early or mid-stages of their careers, this information is crucial. You have to factor in automation when creating a long-term employment plan. If your job is at risk of becoming automated within the foreseeable future, it’s worth it to start looking into making a career move. There are ways you can achieve better job security, the key is getting started before it’s too late.
Research which jobs are (mostly) safe from the threat of automation. Determine which skills you’ll need to develop in order to get those jobs, or which you’re qualified for already. Tap into your network and start strengthening your connections. While it may seem dramatic to fear the “robot takeover” the reality is, it’s important to be prepared, as our workforce and job market is constantly changing.
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