Is The Grass Always Greener?The Danger of Changing Jobs Too Often

by Zach Montroy, SPHR

When it comes to real estate, you’ve likely heard of a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. Similarly, with employment, there’s an employer’s market and an employee’s market, and right now, it’s an employee’s market.

If you’re a quality candidate with relevant work experience, there are lots of jobs out there that might be a great fit. It can be easy to get lured away from your current job if the prospective position offers more money or greater benefits, but there are other factors to consider when it comes to changing companies.

Flexibility — Higher pay often comes with more responsibility and that might mean less flexibility in your work schedule. If working from home or adjusting your hours in order to be available for family needs (i.e. kid’s doctor appointments or school plays) is important to you, be sure to consider the flexibility that comes with the new position.

Paid Time Off — Does the company offer the same amount of paid time off (or more)? If so, that’s great, but also be sure to pay attention to the company’s attitude around taking time off. Some companies may offer generous PTO benefits but never actually allow employees to fully disconnect while on vacation.

Benefits — In addition to PTO, what does the benefits package include in terms of fringe benefits and retirement? More money is great, but benefits have a monetary and long-term security value as well.

Culture — The attitude around all of the above is a part of the company’s culture. Is the overall culture of the company healthy? What are the leaders like, are they transformational leaders? What is the turnover rate of their staff? These things may not be completely obvious from the outside perspective, so be sure to ask a few probing questions in the interview to get a feel for the culture.

In previous generations, our parents and grandparents were loyal to their companies and their jobs. It’s no longer the norm for people to stay with one employer for 35 years. Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times during his or her career. It’s more normal to change companies than it used to be, but before you hop from job to job, consider the negative repercussions that may have on you as well.

Hiring is expensive and time-consuming, and hiring managers will look at your longevity in previous roles. I’ve hired hundreds of people, and I know that if a candidate has a history of changing jobs every year or two, they’re likely to do the same in their next job. That’s a factor hiring managers will consider when reviewing your resume.

There’s a great quote from Neil Barringham, “The grass is greener where you water it.” When switching companies seems like a win in one area but a loss in another, consider which areas within your current company you might be able to “water” or nurture. Are there things that you can do to improve what you don’t like about your current role? If so, talk to your boss. Don’t just vent or complain, but offer up some thoughtful, reasonable suggestions that might help make a difference. Can you shift to a different role and/or take on more responsibility? If money is the issue, ask for a raise. Are there training programs you can participate in to grow your skills? Can you adjust your schedule to allow more flexibility?

Ultimately, if you choose to leave, leave well. People will remember very little about what you did on a day-to-day basis in your job, but what they will remember is how you left. Ask your employer what they need from you as you transition out of the company, and spend your last few days/weeks preparing others for your absence. You’re going to need references down the road and you may even want to come back someday, so make a conscious effort not to burn any bridges on your way out.

Need some help figuring out how the trajectory you’d like your career to be on — schedule a call with our team, we’ve worked with hundreds of leaders to help you navigate getting from where you’re currently at to where you want to be.

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