Changing your job for the right reason

opinion November 03, 2012 00:00

By Heinz Landau

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A global workforce survey by Kelly Services, Inc. among 168,000 people in 30 countries revealed that 70 per cent of the respondents think that experiences with multiple employers are an asset for their career development. The survey, which was published l


I myself have worked for the same company for more than 33 years. I am aware that fewer and fewer people will achieve this kind of longevity in the future. This is not only because of changing work preferences among the younger workforce, it is also very much the result of today’s behaviour by  companies, which often lay off people when they don’t reach their quarterly or annual financial targets. So, why should employees be loyal to their companies when companies aren’t showing loyalty to their staff?
Nevertheless, employees need to think carefully about the right time to move, and to move only for the right reasons.
There are several wrong reasons, like moving purely for monetary reasons, for a more prestigious job title, or to get a new company car. Some employees quit their current employment because they have problems in that particular job. But be aware, if you run away from problems, you might be on the run your whole life. There is hardly any company where you won’t face a challenging situation from time to time. Many people fall into the trap of thinking “the grass is always greener on the other side”. But, of course, as most of us know – or sometimes have learned the hard way – often, it isn’t.
To be clear, I am not discouraging you from changing your job at all, but it has to be for the right reason.
When welcoming new employees to my previous company, the newcomers were always a little astonished during my welcome speech when I told them: “If you don’t enjoy working here for any reason, please don’t just hang around. Life is too short to spend time in a place that you don’t enjoy. However, before quitting, I urge you to first give our company a fair chance. Talk to your boss, talk to your colleagues, discuss problems with people from our human resources department. Discuss problem issues with family members or friends. But please make sure that you talk to people who are older and more experienced than you, and who might have faced similar situations. Listen to what they are telling you. Give it some time and thought. And then you come up with your own decision.”
If an employee has selected the wrong company (or vice versa), after an adequate period of consideration the mistake should be corrected.
So what are the right reasons for changing your job? The right ones are those in which you listen to your heart and in which you follow your passion.
That’s why the wise Chinese philosopher Confucius stated: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”