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“Why are you quitting? You’re only less than two years in that job.”
“I wouldn’t hand over my resignation yet until I find another offer.”
“I’m afraid that quitting might affect how employers view my resume.”
Sound familiar? Although millennials are seen as constant job-hoppers, they’re not the first generation to switch jobs multiple times during their professional life. Believe it or not, the Baby Boomer age group changed professions about 11 times in a span of 30 years. This number is according to the 2015 survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on their findings, it seems that folks of previous generation were also trying to find a fulfilling career by job-hopping.
Feeling guilty that you want to quit? Not sure about your next move? Trying to figure out which industry you’re a good fit for? Relax – here are six reasons why you shouldn’t stress over switching jobs.
6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Switching Jobs
1. Times are changing.
Let’s face it: just because you changed from one work to another within a year doesn’t mean you’re irresponsible. Many things can affect how long you stay at a job – and it doesn’t have to be about how satisfied you are. In addition, employees don’t need to work in one location anymore, or stick to a 9-5 schedule.
That’s because more and more companies are implementing flexible employment policies. For instance, if you don’t really want to quit your job but are concerned about the long commute, you can strike a bargain with your boss. Smart managers will do what they can to keep a good worker. All you need is the courage to communicate your needs.
2. Employers today are more open.
Back then, people who leave their companies before their five-year anniversary were seen as traitors. Not anymore. Nowadays, firms are more open to seeing gaps or a change in jobs in candidates’ resumes. What they are looking for though, is how you used your various experiences to grow as a person and contribute positively to your prior position.
In fact, if you talk to your boss about the possibility of transferring to another company, he or she may make it clear that the door will always be open for your return. Even big corporations like Yahoo, see a good number of returning employees. This is because today’s businesses value a worker’s knowledge – not their years of remaining at one job.
3. Learning something new is more important.
As mentioned, many managers nowadays are not that concerned about a gap in your employment history OR of seeing a couple of jobs listed within two years. What’s essential to them is to hear WHAT you learned and HOW you will use these findings in your future position. Plus, there are some instances when you would really need to change jobs (i.e. when moving to another state or country).
Is your current position hindering you from learning something new? Is negotiating out of the question? What other skills are you interested in? Which companies and/or industry might offer this? Think it over carefully. Remember: this is about your future.
4. It’s more practical.
Sometimes, leaving your job for another is the only best option. This usually happens when you relocate due to marriage or when you need to take care of a sick loved one for a while. Life happens – and when it does, our jobs come second. This isn’t a bad thing. Good employers understand and will consider your experience and passion above a gap in your resume.
If you made good use of that time, there’s no reason to be afraid. You can shine in your own way by highlighting the good stuff you accomplished during the shift (ex: “I learned a lot during my time as a caregiver for X, one of which is budgeting. I’m confident that this will help me if I should be considered for the position of Y in your company”).
5. Loving your work makes you more productive.
One of the main reasons employees change jobs is because they’re trying to find meaning in their work. If you’re one of them, don’t you think it’s unfair to your boss that you keep working in a job you hate? In a study done by the University of Warwick, happier employees are 12 percent more productive. And guess what – money is NOT the biggest factor for their contentment.
Of course, don’t just quit because you had a bad day. It happens to everyone. But when you notice that you feel disengaged and de-motivated in your tasks, be alert! You may need to reassess your current situation.
6. You need to know – not be stuck wondering.
In your quest to find a “job that fits”, you may end up wondering all kinds of “what ifs” before venturing the job market.
“What if I don’t like it there after six months?”
“What if I’m not hired? I’ll be unemployed for a while.”
“What if they don’t have opportunities for promotion?”
Here’s the thing: you can keep asking these questions OR you could get your feet wet. You want to switch jobs because you want to know. Plenty of companies today have trial periods when you can experience working there for a few weeks before making up your mind.
If you’re worried about being jobless, try searching for side hustles you can do for the time being (i.e. freelance writer, part-time waiter, web designer, etc.). Even famous people had odd jobs before they found the one that’s right for them. This may sound cliché, but “you’ll never know unless you try”, right?
The World Is Waiting
It’s okay to be scared of the possible consequences of switching jobs. But times have changed. Employers now are more understanding, communicative, and open. Gone are the days when employees would be reprimanded for telling the truth. Whether you plan on changing jobs to explore better opportunities or because you want to try new skills, use that fear as your springboard.
The world is big and waiting for you – all you need to do is to decide.