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6 good reasons for a job switch
Sunder Ramachandran |
June 19, 2006
Sooner or later the itch begins. You can't help but feel it's time to make that job switch. The reasons could be varied: monetary, job satisfaction, or even a lousy boss.
Whatever be your reason and however determined you are to move on, you still need to plan the transition well.
A four-part series to help you make an informed decision.
To begin with, we tackle the issue of why you are making the switch. It is important to leave for the right reasons.
Start off by listing the main problems with your current job. Is it possible to fix the problems? Do they have a solution?
It's a good idea to discuss these issues with a trusted colleague or your boss. They may be willing to support you once they learn about your aspirations.
6 top reasons for a job switch and what you must do before taking the plunge.
'I hate my job profile'
If this is the case, you will be less productive and will start deteriorating professionally as the job does not stimulate you any more.
Ask yourself what it is in your profile that you dislike. For instance, if you are a creative person, a mechanical job profile will stifle you.
You need to ensure that your dislikes are not emotional in nature. So just because you dislike the people your work with does not mean it is time for a switch.
One you are clear what it is in your profile that needs changing, talk to your seniors to find out if there is a possibility that the issue will be reconsidered. If not, then it is probably time to move on.
'I want more responsibility'
Hit a ceiling in terms of your career growth and don't see any future in the current setup? Or, the only way you can get to the next level is if your boss resigns?
Then you need to talk to your boss and explore the option of moving to a new department with increased levels of responsibility. If it works out, make sure that you are not just being lured away by the promise of a fancy sounding designation.
Don't be inhibited by starting afresh on a new assignment within the same organisation. It will work out well for you if it allows you to grow professionally and financially.
'I want to start out on my own'
Tired of working for someone else? Have a great business idea that you feel can turn big? If being your own boss appeals to you then that might be a good reason to leave the job.
But, do your homework. Don't just get excited and rush into something. Is there a market for your services/product? Have you got a solid business plan in place? Have you considered how you are going to raise money for it? Have you discussed it with professionals in the industry?
In your enthusiasm, don't forget that you will be letting go of the security and comfort associated with a steady paycheck. So be ready for a rough ride.
Consider the possibility of failure. Most new businesses fail or shut down in their very first year of operation.
'It's just personal'
Erratic shifts. Lots of out-of-station travel. Too time consuming with no time for the family. Expected to work seven days a week? Any of these could cause you to reconsider your priorities.
While that is alright, don't live under the illusion that everything will fall into place with a new job. You may have to make some important lifestyle decisions to achieve a balance between work-life and personal time.
It's a competitive world and you may have to take a cut in your salary to have more time at home or pursue other interests.
'I got fired'
You could get fired as most organisations adopt a performance-based culture with little tolerance towards non-performers. Don't be angry and waste time bad mouthing people and the organisation. Instead, find out the real reason and move out.
Or maybe, you are about to get fired with the company on a downsizing mode. Then it's better to walk out before you are left with no choice.
There are no foolproof ways to protect against job loss but you can certainly do the following.
- Be calm and proactive, not reactive. Talk to your boss and find out if you can be relocated or be offered a different position. Storming into his office and shouting will not get you anywhere.
- Stay positive. It can open new doors and opportunities that you may have ignored if not challenged.
- If downsizing has started, aggressively take more initiatives to get involved in the organisation. Make yourself valuable so that losing you is not an easy option for the organisation. However, continue your job search simultaneously.
'I hate my boss'
The popular clich�, "People don't leave their organisations; they leave their boss", holds true. You are just a part of a large community who feels the same way.
Here are some typical bad boss traits:
- Does not respect employees.
- Does not trust colleagues.
- Does not take or give any feedback.
- Assigns too many tasks and sets impossible deadlines.
- Is often rude and intimidating.
Before resigning, try these options.
1. Communicate your issues
Be specific. For example, just saying that you have too much work is vague. Instead, break down your tasks into the amount of time you will actually have to spend on each of them that week, and show your boss how many hours it will take. With a clear statement of required time, your boss is more likely to lessen your load to a reasonable level.
2. Make your boss feel good
This one is specially true if you boss has a big ego or needs to have his confidence constantly boosted. Work harder on him. If you have a good idea but think he will refuse, invest a little more time in convincing him.
3. Do a good job
This may sound obvious but when the quality of your work is good, everyone benefits including your boss. So make sure that you exceed your goals or targets, are punctual for all meetings, meet deadlines and are a brand ambassador for your company and project it well.
4. Anticipate your boss's need
If you know that the boss's boss likes graphs and analysis in a presentation, prepare them for your boss. You can say something like, "I know your superior likes graphical illustrations, so I thought these might make your presentation go a little smoother". If your boss is at a loss of words in a meeting, you might want to chip in and give him the support he needs. Be supportive, invest in building a rapport.
There is no such thing as the perfect boss. But if you are willing to acknowledge his/her flaws and strong points, then you are on the right track.
The bottom-line: Know your worth and if all else fails, don't feel dejected. It is time for you to move on.
Part II: Job hunting? Top strategies
Part III: Hot, new job? Resign gracefully
Have you switched jobs before? If yes, what were YOUR reasons? Share your experiences, tips and suggestions.
Sunder works as a trainer with a leading global BPO.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
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