In general, if we are given a choice, we prefer stability to change. Although it may seem otherwise, routine gives us security and everyday life is pleasant. We like to know where things are, who we should contact, how to deal with certain issues and as far as possible we try to avoid variations. Even when we are unhappy we tend to protect our own stretch of certainty. Sometimes we go to the extreme of feeling miserable under certain working conditions and we evade movements for certainty. It is difficult, we do not like to change of scene and we find justifications to remain the same. However, there are situations in which a change of course is not bad and can lead to better ports.For this reason, it is extremely important to identify the signs that tell us that it is time to look for a new job.
It is also true that regardless of stability, work environment, achievements and accolades, there is a collective fantasy of a better job. Somewhere in our brain we have generated the dream that there is a part in which we will be more valued, we will earn more, we will have better benefits and we will be better. According to data revealed by LinkedIn, of the 313 million members, 25% are people who are actively looking for work and almost 188 million are passive seekers. That is, 85% of LinkedIn members are seriously considering a job change.
Between these extremes – the tendency to maintain stability and the desire for a better job – the pendulum swings that can lead us to make a decision. The faithful of the balance runs from fear of change and the disgust that is brewing with certain working conditions. The decision to change jobs is important, as it involves risks that must be carefully considered, and it also presents opportunities that must be objectively evaluated. Obviously, the strengths that exist and the probable weaknesses that they would face in a new scenario should be well appreciated. Of course, the first assessment that must be made is to understand that today work is a scarce good in the market and whoever has one must appreciate it. Yes, that is the first step, but a deeper analysis must also be carried out.
According to Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, from Universtity College London, there are five signs that a change can be beneficial to professional life. The traffic light indicates change when:
- You are no longer learning. The best moments of production and progress occur in work environments that promote growth and stimulate learning. A job that is open to the possibility of creative problem solving, that incites curiosity and that seeks new ways to face everyday life is a pleasant place to work. But if ingenuity is curtailed, if solutions are always the same and new ideas are not accepted, the light of change begins to shine.
- You are performing below your means. If you are installed in that stage in which you fly with the automatic pilot, in which you could do your work even if you were asleep, and in which the enthusiasm is diminished and the answers arrive in a thoughtless way, surely you could be doing something better.
- You feel undervalued. If your boss takes you for granted, if your suggestions are not taken into account, if you are no longer part of the work team, if they do not invite you to meetings or listen to your opinions, the signals are being activated.
- You are doing it just for the money. The payment is very important and the fortnight days are always very happy; however, there should always be an added incentive. That satisfaction that remains at the end of the day because the mission of the day was fulfilled, because the challenge was overcome and progress was made, is one of the basic foundations of job satisfaction. When this is missing we have an indicator.
- The relationship with the boss is impossible. There is a saying in the world of work: people are hired in a company and quit by the boss. This means that one of the main reasons that cause an alert to change jobs directly corresponds to the relationship with the boss.
The signs that tell us that it is time to look for a new job should be like a control panel where they turn on to alert us, but we must be careful: that does not mean that we should run away to present the resignation. That means that we are receiving alerts and we have to start planning the best way to get out of one place to get to a better one. In the same way that the control center of a car warns us that we have gasoline left to travel a certain distance and the driver is alert to the next gas station, so these signals are a reference to start making movements that generate an improvement.
The signals are parameters that allow us to identify what everyday life prevents us from seeing. They are signs that prevent us from entering a fantasy and that alert us to situations that must be modified. They are codes that should give us clarity and provide elements to generate strategies that work in our favor. I also believe that the best sign that we should look for a new job is when only one of the parties does their part, that is, if the employee works and is not paid or if the employer pays and the worker does not perform: it is time to migrate.
If the control board has the signals on and we are afraid of the consequences that looking for a new opportunity will bring with it, the words of Abraham Lincoln come at hand: “The best way to predict the future is to get to work and create it.” At heart, the signs are tools to make decisions that help us take the best direction.