In our recent annual Salary Survey, the top three most important factors when considering a job move were:
- Career progression
- Salary increase
- Team culture
The world of work is a confusing, chaotic place. Your career path will probably not be linear and straightforward; your career success will not be measured by how long you stay with an employer; as an employee, you have to take charge of directing your own career choices on a regular basis.
So how do you know when you’ve reached a point on that career path that signals time for a change in job?
Ask yourself two questions
To measure levels of satisfaction, it can be helpful to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- How clear are you about your career vision? (In other words, why do you do what you do?)
- How passionate and excited are you about your work overall?
Be completely honest with yourself as you consider these questions. If you can specifically and enthusiastically communicate your work vision, you are in the right job. Don’t stop there though! Dig deeper and ask yourself – Are you in the right environment? Is it time to shift responsibilities or departments? It may be time to tweak your situation to better match your work vision.
Time off or clean break?
If you have a clear and passionate career vision, but not a lot of energy, you may simply need a holiday. PRs are extremely busy people, and stress can take its toll in unsuspecting ways, so keep an eye on your health or other things that could be draining your energy and limiting you. However, if you’re unclear about how you got into your current job in the first place, it’s probably time to take a big step and reevaluate your passions, purpose and direction.
In order to succeed and be happy as you follow your career path, you need to continually shape that path to ensure it is moving in the direction you want it to. This takes planning and will include writing down your vision every few months. Plot each step of your vision and what you need to do in order to fulfill your aims. This will include routine assessments of your skills, potential, strengths and weaknesses.
Pay attention to who you are
There are cycles in your career – the exciting times when you are actively engaged in building and launching your vision as well as calmer times to step back and reconsider who you are and where you’re going in a more mindful way. If you realise something needs to change, carry out a self-assessment: explore what you want and what you have to give in terms of your interests, values, style and strengths. With increased self-knowledge, you will be able to begin a process of researching the careers, markets and industries that offer the best fit for you.
Take proactive steps
When regular reflection reveals that your job no longer aligns with your long-term goals, it’s time to face the task of actively making a change. Set goals for yourself detailing what you are looking for in terms of responsibilities, company culture and benefits. Create timelines for yourself to find another opportunity. Before you jump ship, write down the pros and cons of moving on so you can gain broader perspective. Consider all the steps that could improve your current job and take a long hard look at the risks involved with leaving.
Don’t let your feelings get in the way of your critical decision. Look at it from a business perspective. If you find a role that interests you, you should try to find out about the senior management of the company, the team you might be working for and most importantly about the person you could be reporting in to. Ask around as you cannot simply form an opinion on the smiles and nice words that you get at interview.
You are going to spend a great deal of time in the new office, so do put the work in to ensure it’s the right choice. If you try and cut corners when you prepare to change jobs, you could end up having to deal with issues further down the line.
The Works Search specialise in placing mid to senior level PR and communications talent in leading PR agencies and in-house organisations across London, on both a contingency and executive search basis. For our latest roles visit our jobs page, or contact the team on 0207 559 6690 to discuss your career in confidence.