New Year, New Year…Is It Time for a New Job?

By Kristen Harris

Every time the calendar turns over, we get inundated with the “new year, new you” online inspo. But there is some wisdom to the power of new starts, fresh beginnings, and triggers like a new year that push us to make a change. 

There are many reasons people change jobs–focus on the ones that matter the most to you. This year many people are considering a work-related change. How can you determine if that’s right for you?

Here are ten areas that could lead you to consider a job change:

  1. Pay. First on the list because it’s generally assumed this is the main reason people change jobs. Pay does matter, but surprisingly, it can fall below a few other factors like Culture, Benefits, or Worksite. If you’re otherwise happy in your job but feel your pay might be below-market, do some research, then approach your employer. If you’re a great employee, they might be able to give you an increase, incentives, or other additional compensation. If not, likely, the only way to be paid more is to look for other opportunities.

  2. Benefits. When considering a new job, benefits are often a driving factor. We typically think of health insurance and paid time off first, and the last two years have shown how important both of those things are. But companies may offer all sorts of other benefits; just like culture, it’s essential to find the ones that matter the most to you. 

  3. Location. This could mean moving to a new city or part of the county altogether. If you don’t love where you’re living, want to get closer to family (or further away), need more sunshine in your life, or have always wanted to live in a bigger city, changing jobs can be an opportunity to relocate. The location could also be a consideration even if you aren’t moving; maybe you’ve had a long commute and now want to look for something a little closer to home. 

  4. Worksite. Speaking of being closer to home… it’s possible you’ve been working from home some or all of the time over the past couple of years. Some people appreciate the no-commute, private workspace or closeness to family that working remotely can provide. Other people really prefer having a separate workplace, a commute, separation from family, or reliable access to technology. Many people like a blend of the two and are looking for a hybrid situation where they work some days in the office and some days from home. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, as your company announces “return to the office” plans, it may or may not align with what you desire going forward. 

  5. Schedule. Like location, work schedule can be a significant factor in considering a new job. You may be working part-time and looking for a full-time role. Perhaps you want to work a different schedule with earlier or later hours than the standard “9-to-5.” Or maybe you want to reduce your schedule to part-time hours so you can focus on something else for a while. Jobs come in all shapes and sizes; you have to find the one that fits you.

  6. Promotion. Another reason people accept or search for a new job is to gain a promotion. Many companies are committed to promoting people from within whenever they can. If you are seeking a promotion, talk to your manager about what would be required to make that happen at your current company. If it’s clear that it is not an option, then taking a new role could give you that next step up in your career. 

  7. Development. Similar to promotion opportunities, people often seek to continue developing in their careers. Identify how you may learn new skills or take on new projects within your current company and share your ideas with your manager—seeing a theme? Communication is critical in understanding what is available (or not) with your current employer. If there is no opportunity for growth, you might need to consider a new role to get those chances. 

  8. New Challenges. Often we start down a career path and then, years later, realize we’ve spent all our years in one type of role or one specific industry. Maybe you need a new challenge. This could mean looking for a similar role in a new sector that interests you or applying transferable skills to a new position in your same industry. New challenges are good for the mind and can kickstart our creativity!

  9. Passion. Are you passionate about the mission of the company you work for? Do you care, I mean really care, about the product you sell or the service you provide? Work is work, and we can’t expect to love everything we do every minute of the day. But, when you have a tough day or need to resolve a challenging issue, the hard work is worth it when you work for a company you care about.

  10. Culture. Last on our list, but one of the most important considerations! Perhaps the dynamic of the company you’re working for isn’t a fit for you. Maybe it used to be, but it isn’t anymore. That’s okay! Not every company will be a great match for you; perhaps it’s time to find one that is.

Is it time for a job change? If a few of these items resonated with you, maybe it’s time to see what your options are. You might be able to find some of the things you want right now within your current company, or perhaps it’s time to look at what else might be available. Ready to start looking at new opportunities? Let us know–we’re here to help!