The strategy for when and how to change jobs

The strategy for when and how to change jobsWhen you change jobs, you always take a risk. Risks can be mitigated by better understanding the job market and the competition.

Timing is everything.

What is the best timing when you change jobs?

Changing jobs is always challenging. For some people, the thought of a job change is so scary that they never change jobs. For others, they change when things get tough at work.

Both of these approaches are wrong!


We don’t live in the 30 year job world anymore. Employers look at time on the job to make sure that your skills are fresh and current. It is easy to get stale when you stay in the wrong place too long. But that also doesn’t mean you should keep changing.

Job change should be done carefully

A client recently said that she heard that millennials change jobs often. She also noticed that some people she respected had frequent job changes.

I told her I wasn’t so sure about that philosophy. As I often do when I need more information, I phoned a friend and I messaged another one. Unlike typical job seeker searches, when I check with my friends, it is with experts.

Barb Poole from HireImaging:

The job-hopping millennial is a myth. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the typical worker aged 20 to 24 has been their job for about 16 months. For those 25 to 34, it was six years. More importantly, younger workers have always changed jobs more often than older workers.

But the numbers are misleading when you realize millennials entered the workforce during a period of prolonged economic downturn – missing out on years of potential wage gains. They are often trying to catch up to the money. In an era when a typical employer might offer a one to three percent raise, job hopping is the fastest way to make more money. Add to the money goal, the millennials’ place high value on workplace culture and work / life integration. This suggests that employers need to continue to find “stickiness” for their talent of all ages, including the millennials.

 Dawn Bugni from The Write Solution:

There is no assurance that making a move will make anything better. If you are moving only because you hate your manager or you don’t like the job, think again. Work is work, it isn’t meant to be fun.

I don’t believe you should stay with a job for two more years if it makes you miserable but before you decide to move, think of ways you can do your job better. Build a relationship with a difficult manager, you might be surprised and find that he or she becomes your best friend.

Other clients contact me when they want to change jobs quickly even if they are not millennials. I always tell them to look at the overall history of changes.

My concern is that just because a situation is bad at the moment, you shouldn’t be ready to jump ship.

The grass isn’t always greener and I find that some people end up destroying their work history when they jump at the slightest issue.

Strategic career management should be your goal

Recognize if your manager is not the best manager, your next manager could be worse. Jumping out of the current role to fix the bad manager problem is one option but it shouldn’t be the only one.

  • Analyze if you could make improvements to areas to raise your performance levels. Today there are many ways that you can improve your work.
  • Capture your success stories. If a manager isn’t seeing your contributions, making a list of your work successes can help improve the conversation about your work. If you have to move on, these success stories are also the base of your next resume.
  • Is communication from management coming only from emails? It is very easy to misinterpret emails. Open the door to actual communication with your manager in a respectful climate.
  • Do deep research on other companies before you decide to move on. The job market is volatile and upcoming merger-acquisitions should be part of your research.

When you consider job change, do it carefully and not impulsively. On the other hand, remember that you should always be ready. My most recent post was: What you need to know if your job ends tomorrow.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

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