Quit your job or stay? 5 ways to determine if switching jobs is the right decision for you

Now that the labor market is moving again after the corona pandemic, you might get the feeling that you are not taking your chances. But job hopping isn’t always the right choice.

It can be very difficult to weigh all possibilities and your personal preferences when making a career decision. Think of salary, fringe benefits, flexibility and satisfaction. When weighing your options, experts say it is important to take the time to list all the pros and cons. But that’s not all.

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Insider asked career experts how best to determine whether you should look for a new job. They called these 5 ways.

1. The best option may not be the easiest

When making decisions about our career, we often choose the easiest way. In some cases, the most obvious choice is to stay where you are, but in other cases, starting over is better. According to professor Dorie Clark of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, it’s important to weigh as many options as possible to discover what’s right.

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It is very human to ignore all other possibilities and continue in the direction you are already in. Clark says there’s the sun-cost fallacy: We don’t want to quit a job or career path because we’ve already put a lot of time and effort into it, even if it’s clearly not working. For example, if you have already invested a lot of money, energy and time in law school, but you find out that you really want to be a lawyer, it can be very exciting to try something new. Even if you decide to stay in your current job for the time being, new ideas about career development can bring clarity to your goals. Maybe you find out there is a solution at your current job or maybe you find a whole new way that you didn’t think of at all in the first place.

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“Doubting can help because it forces you to think a little longer about solutions,” Clark told Insider. “If you really think about it, possibilities open up that you would never have discovered if you just stayed where you are.”

2. Decide what you want to get out of your work

Founder Ariane Hunter of My Mentors Circle, a group of businesswomen, says changes in the labor market make it clear to employers what employees essentially want out of their work.Are you paid well enough? Are you treated with respect? Can you achieve your own goals?

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“We should always do that regularly, even if the pandemic will be over for a long time,” says Hunter. “We should always check with ourselves whether we feel good about the work we do.”

3. Look around your network

Career coach Ashley Stahl is aware that looking for a job is “inconvenient” for many people. But networking is much more than just the search for a new workplace. Ask mentors and colleagues for specific advice for your sector. Look carefully at who leaves your circle and who stays. “Job hunting is a way of life,” Stahl says. “You should always keep your network warm.”

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4. Prepare for a transition period

When changing jobs, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Even if your official induction period is already over after a week, according to Stahl it takes at least six months before you are really well grounded at a new company. Job hoppers who feel frustrated should take more time to settle in with a new company.

“People basically don’t want to leave at all,” Stahl told Insider. “They just want to be happy in their job. They want to develop. They want to be part of a community.”

Also read: Employees demand the option to work hybrid: 1 in 3 do not want a full-time office job.

5. Use your doubts to become more flexible

Being in uncertainty can also be very valuable, Clark says. By thinking about your career path, you automatically prepare yourself for different opportunities. And that makes you more flexible and resilient.

Often people have a certain fear when making career decisions and worry that they will become unemployed or under-educated. But taking a curious approach rather than one out of fear is much better for your overall attitude to work.

“You can also draw strength from uncertainty about your future,” Clark says. “You’re investing in fundamental skills that come in handy in all sorts of areas.”

Author: Jobly