My recent post on readiness prompted several people to ask about why people decide to leave their current position. Most people leave their current job for one of five reasons. Some reasons have to do with being ready but many do not. Consider which reasons may apply to your current situation.
1) The Boss Factor: People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their manager. No other relationship is as important as the one who is responsible for providing feedback and approving your paycheck. If working conditions become strained, employees will often seek new opportunities. Is your current supervisory relationship working in a way that is beneficial both to you and to your boss? How can you improve this?
2) Geographic Constraints: Small-town guy living in NYC? Urban professional working in a rural community? Are you working far away from your family and wish you lived closer? Sometimes the best jobs may not be in the locations that we would personally prefer. While the allure of a great job may be attractive, the position itself might not be enough to keep you if your personal values are not congruent with your current living conditions. Will living in a certain area improve your quality of life? What are the market realities of being able to find a position in this specific area?
3) 3 Years and Up?: Sometimes people job search because they are adhering to a traditional model of career progression. The old notions of spending three years in an entry-level job and five years in a mid-level role, etc. are no longer relevant. Based on family commitments, continuing education and geographical constraints, there are no rules anymore for creating a professional timeline. Yet, practitioners often seek to move before they are ready (or similarly stay too long at one particular place) based on antiquated notions of career progression. The only timeline that matters is your own. If you are happy at your current job, drown out the voices that keep telling you what you "should" do.
4) Boredom: Can you do your job in less than 30 hours a week? Are you feeling unchallenged in your work? While people often leave when they feel this way, the key should be to gracefully depart before you feel the symptoms of boredom creeping in. By this time, people are usually hoping that you would leave the department any way J. Be self-aware. Know when you start to feel yourself not being as effective or interested in your current job duties. Are you still invested and excited by the work you do each day?
5) Success in most areas of current job role functions: Have you gotten all that you can out of your current role? Have you accomplished the things you hoped to achieve when you started the position? While all of the aforementioned areas can be valid reasons to move on, this is the one that often feels the most comfortable because you can leave on your ownterms knowing that you are ready for the next challenge. What does success look like to you? What else can you get out of this experience?
In your experience, why else do people seek to move on?