Should I stay or should I go?
Jobs that we once loved can start to become something we just don’t enjoy anymore. Perhaps we find ourselves bored and unchallenged at work, too stressed, our boss might have changed into the “boss from hell”, we can feel passed up for promotion… the list is endless. Sometimes, when this happens we think about jumping ship and finding a new employer, but should we?
Employees with ambitious career aspirations often fall into one of two categories:
- Those who switch company approximately every two to four years
- Those who join a company and remain there for a lengthy period, usually upwards of 6 years.
The average number of employers somebody works for in a lifetime is a hard statistic to pin down, but it lies somewhere between seven and eleven employers. Additionally, the number of employers has increased over recent generations with Baby Boomers typically staying in post for much longer than those commencing their careers in the new millennium.
So who has it got it right, which strategy gives the best career and personal fulfilment? There are clear benefits to both options, let’s take a look.
Three reasons to grow your career where you are:
- Sticking with one company for a significant part of your career allows you to create better working relationships. There is no need to repeatedly prove yourself to all of your work colleagues as they know you and they (hopefully) trust you. This can allow you to shape your environment based on your style of leadership and pave the way to a senior role in the organisation.
- The stability in your career creates benefits of its own. By serving your organisation for years, you illustrate that you are a dependable individual. The fact that you have a stable and solid work environment allows you to plan longer term about where your life and career need to go. You may also find the other, non-work related stresses and strains of life are a little easier to bear when there is a consistent factor in your life.
- Work benefits, such as annual leave, pensions and share options, are usually greater if you allow them to accumulate with a single employer.
Should negative situations arise at work, often they can be turned around by communicating and showing initiative with your current employer. For example, attending specific training courses can help you acquire new skills to de-stress an overly challenging role; taking time to get to know your manager can reap benefits as you learn how to work with each other’s foibles. There may well be times though, where you’ve done everything within your power and you just want to try somewhere new.
Three reasons to change employer:
- If an assessment of the job environment shows you are significantly underpaid for the role that you are doing and your employer is not willing to renegotiate salary. This is very common – it always pays to check out salary surveys when you have been in a role for a while.
- The work you do is not challenging enough and there is no prospect of this changing. As humans we have a need to learn and better ourselves. Studies show that the ideal work environment should place us outside of our comfort zone for 20% of the time by enabling us to work on truly challenging tasks. If we can’t create this environment where we are, we owe it to ourselves to find somewhere that we can thrive.
- You don’t like where the company is going. Perhaps poor decisions have been made by the board of directors or the competitive environment is now too challenging – if the company is going to struggle financially it can be a good idea to look externally if you are not in a position to help turn things around.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If you are assessing your finance or accountancy career, we can help you, just call our Maidenhead team on 01628 788588 or our Reading team on 01189 072 444 and one of our experienced consultants can help you consider your options.