Fact is the grass is not greener. It’s only an optical illusion; a trick of the sun shining in your eyes while you covet your neighbor’s lawn or job, as the case may be.
The ever-so-slight uptick in unemployment numbers, 84,000 positions added overall for the month of June, indicates that companies are hiring. And with employee restlessness on the rise and the perception being that a person, employed, is more attractive to prospective employers, many people with jobs are either testing the waters or outright seeking change. While there’s nothing wrong in evaluating the job market to determine where you and your salary rate, changing jobs now, in what is still an uncertain labor climate, might not be the most prudent of moves; especially if your workplace’s culture is a major or sole reason for leaving.
That’s not to say never leave one job for a better one; only that the decision to do should be well-planned and emotion-less. According to Hay Group Data, nearly 2 in 5 or 38% of employees in 2011 made plans to leave their current job in a five year period, a number up 8% more than in 2008. With enablement being a top reason for defection, others include higher wages, available paid leave, a more lucrative retirement package or better health benefits. Still others might include more responsibility and a better possibility of recognition and advancement, in addition to other enticements like health club membership, wellness and employee incentive programs or consumer discounts. But there is a down side to, at least, consider; the possibility that the move doesn’t work out and what to do if it doesn’t. To be prepared for such an event, issues such as at-will employment and seniority should be well thought over. Hopefully, you will have had those questions answered before accepting an employment offer. And if that offer doesn’t include a stated severance package, the availability of unemployment insurance should be confirmed to avoid having to use savings or any retirement package funds paid after separation.
But all planning aside, whatever you do, do it with a level head after much deliberation because you’ll find that you aren’t the only one out there seeking a change. Mark Royal, senior principal at Hay Group Insight says, “U.S. companies have experienced lower turnover rates over the past few years, largely because of the weak labor market associated with the economic downturn. We’re in the eye of a turnover hurricane that has lulled many companies into complacency.” The mid year job forecast is predicting an increase in hiring for the last part of 2012 in the customer service, IT, sales, administrative, BD, finance, marketing and accounting sectors. That same complacency, along with these forecasted hiring increases only means that the competition for those positions will be all the more extreme. Failure to plan fully any type of exit strategy before leaving your current job jeopardizes you and your family’s future.
Sources: Business Insider; 4 Tips for Changing Careers by Sudy Bharadwaj, July 12, 2012: Hay Group; Hay Group Research Finds Employees Growing Increasingly Restless with their Employers, June 18, 2012