Friday, April 2, 2010

When should you look for a new job?

I've been a bit busy so apologies for not writing lately.....but, this is a topic I've been meaning to discuss for a while now. For any job seeker, I think it's a critical thing to think about...when do you decide, it's time to look for a new job? If you're not the kind of person who thinks about long term growth and building a personal brand....stop reading now as this won't be of interest to you. If you care about where your career will be in 10 or 15 years...this is for you. The following are my quick thoughts on when it's time to make a change

1) You're miserable - Wake up cranky? Dread going to work? Complain all the time about how much your job stinks? Time for a change my friend. Life is to short to be miserable 40 hours a week. This is so obvious I'm not even going to go deep. And for those of you saying, "Yeah, but I'm always miserable at work"....find a new career, again, life is too shot

2) You're not growing - Maxed out? Doing your job with your eyes closed? Time to move on then. A good job forces you to learn new skills, to grow and progress as an employee. If you are done growing, start looking around and find a job that will force you to push the envelope.

3) Good job, bad company - Seem like a weird reason to look around? It's not. If you are working for a "bad" company or a place that's known to be a tough environment but love your should find the same role or a better role at a better company. Think about this - you are the #1 performer at your company but most people look at your employer and aren't, do that same job, same performance at an industry leader or "cool" company.....presto, your personal brand is worth a lot more and suddenly your the person everyone wants to hire.

4) It's a recession - What? It's a recession so I should look for a new job? Yep, that's right. Not saying you need to TAKE a new job but recessions are the best time to network, interview and potentially land a new gig. Companies who are hiring during a downturn are likely come out of the recession even stronger....and usually with a significantly stronger position in the market. Yes, it's harder to find jobs and lots of them will be uninteresting.....but if the market slows (like now, although the "experts" say we are recovering) than the time is now to start poking around. A side benefit of this, by interviewing and keeping yourself current when things REALLY turn around you're interview skills will be sharp as ever helping you land the perfect gig.

5) You're happy in your job - Jeff are you crazy? No, I'm not. Looking at new jobs while being perfectly happy is the BEST time to consider new jobs. Why? Because you'd be making the decision to change jobs when you don't have to make a change - better comp? better commute? better team? Does not matter, whatever is most important to you. Take the interview, evaluate the job and if it's better than your current job....accept it. LOTS of people will disagree with this sentiment, but really, anytime you can get a better job or join a better company or do anything to upgrade your it and don't look back.

There are many, many other reasons to look for a new job but these are a few of my favorites. What do you think? When do you start looking?

(note to any current colleagues...I'm not looking, no really I'm not!)


  1. so pretty much at all times. You have covered all the bases. happy or miserable, recession or when it turns around. :-)

    spoken like a true recruiter

  2. Jeff,

    If one thinks looking for jobs is really fun, there ever a situation where looking for jobs isn't a good idea?


  3. I think we you start a new job, you probably shouldn't be looking around right away. I tell people to give a new gig at least a year...unless of course the place is out of control :)

  4. that should be "when you start a new job".....