It's a pretty common affliction which is probably more representative of generational restlessness and employer attitudes than it is about soured jobs.
A bad economy captures everyone's attention. Managers pay closer attention to costs and productivity. Opportunities for workers to explore new work projects often slow and pay raises are harder to come by.
Workers often see this as a sign they should move on, that things will be better at the company down the block. Maybe it's just easier to run out on a job than work at making it better or making yourself more comfortable in it.
There are times, though, when you have to switch jobs or even careers. Everyone has their own reason for changing jobs, but here are five good reasons that you probably should work elsewhere:
- Ethical lapses.
If you have witnessed or been asked to participate in unethical behavior, you are in a bad situation. Remember that high-tech energy trading room that Enron used to staff with clerical workers to deceive stock analysts when they visited the company's headquarters in Houston? It was clearly deceitful and fraudulent. Yet, if the clerical workers did know they were part of sham, they never said so.
Wishing everyone would report ethical problems inside their companies probably is unreasonable. But individual workers have to realize that if they willingly participate in ethical breaches, that becomes part of their career DNA. Changing jobs any time ethical lapses occur is the smart thing to do.
- You no longer believe in your employer's values.
Most people are told what a company's values are when they begin a job. But if the behavior of the company and its employees don't mirror those values, you have a real problem. If the values conflict with your own, move on. You have nothing to gain in that work situation.
- You can't handle the stress of the job.
Some jobs are simply incubators for stress. Everyone handles stress in their own way and some do a better job of handling it than others. But often jobs are blamed for stresses created outside the job. Make certain that you are moving because of job stress and not general stress in your personal life.
- Your company or industry is in decline.
It can't be pleasant to be an employee of an American automobile manufacturer in the 21st century. For a century, that industry created some of the steadiest jobs in the world, with good pay and benefits.
But worldwide pressures have caused a sharp drop in market share and automobile manufacturers have laid off hundreds of thousands of workers and job-growth opportunities have been lost. That is a good reason to move on.
- Your relationship with your boss is beyond repair.
It happens. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes your boss is simply unreasonable and sometimes it happens and you can't blame a particular reason.
But if you really can't fix that relationship, there is little reason to stay in that job. No matter how good of an employee you are, your supervisor will not fight for you, will not provide you with opportunities to advance and may be undercutting your reputation in the workplace.
There are five legitimate reasons to change jobs. Only you can be the judge of whether you need to move on, but don't just do it carelessly.
Closely evaluate your situation and use all your wisdom in making this important decision.
Michael Kinsman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.