When it comes to changing jobs, the grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but often when we arrive, we see weeds, brown grass, and bare spots. We may change jobs thinking that all our problems are behind us and the new position will solve everything, only to be disappointed and disillusioned by what we find. Before jumping ship, take careful stock of your current job. If you move, take the right steps.
1. Evaluate your mid-range and long-term goals, both professionally and personally
What would you desire to accomplish with a move, and would your skills be enhanced in a new company or field?
2. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
Discuss your perspective with your spouse and three trusted friends who know you well. Ask each to confirm — or correct — your self-analysis. A clear understanding of yourself will guide you on a path toward the best opportunity. Although hearing and acknowledging the truth may not be easy, King Solomon instructed, ”Make your ear attentive to wisdom” (Proverbs 2:2 NASB). Consider whether you will need to develop new job skills for advancement with your current or future employer.
3. Determine your future job needs, both financially and professionally
Plan how future employment will meet these goals. If you want to lead project teams, for example, look for a job where project team leadership is important. If you desire to enter direct sales, find a firm that will train you. Would new doors be open to you in a different business? Scripture clearly demonstrates the importance of planning in Proverbs 21:5 (NASB): ”The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage. But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”
4. Carefully evaluate your current situation
Identify why you are considering a job move. You may be able to make changes and get on the career track you want without having to leave. Most job changes result from poor working relationships, so determine whether those relationships can be mended before deciding to quit.
5. Select your next employer carefully
If you have determined that moving on is the best choice, don’t jump at the first offer, or even the highest paying offer, without further research. Evaluate your options. Which companies are industry leaders or on a solid growth path? Lack of future growth will limit your long-term prospects.
6. Find out which company cultures fit your workstyle and temperament
Look for firms with open, honest communication and demonstrated integrity. Some companies are very structured and autocratic, whereas others offer a lot of personal freedom, while holding employees accountable to be self-starters and deliver results. Effective research will help you find a good fit rather than ending up in misery.
7. Determine whether you will consider a lateral move with similar work responsibilities and pay
There are three logical reasons to accept a lateral move:
- Your current situation is so bad and negative that you just need to get out, period.
- The move will lead to a better career path with better training and advancement possibilities.
- The move will enable you to achieve important personal goals, such as reducing your commute time by 40 minutes a day.
Regardless of your motivation, consider your decision carefully. Before you accept a job offer, talk to your spouse and three trusted friends who know you well and will give you honest feedback. ”A man of understanding will acquire wise counsel” (Proverbs 1:5, NASB).
It’s easy to get caught up with the emotion of the job hunt and fail to notice key elements. Avoid resigning your current position until you have landed another one. As one observer noted, “Those who take time off to find themselves, often find themselves broke.”
Most importantly, never accept a position where you don’t feel the Lord’s peace. As Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, ”May the Lord of peace Himself grant you peace in every circumstance” — including your job.
If you want to bounce your ideas and thoughts off of an objective person before you think about seeking a new job, our free, online mentors can help. Whatever you discuss will be kept in confidence.