Are you ready for a new job, or are you just bored? Use these exercises to find out whether all your job hopping is justified.
Are you constantly on the lookout for a more interesting job opportunity?
Does your resume look like a hodgepodge of short contractor gigs?
Do you find yourself easily distracted by the prospect of a new job even when you’re employed in a full-time role?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it’s likely you’ve made job hopping a habit. Leaving a role after a short period of time for the right reasons can sometimes be a smart career move. But if you’re not careful, you might end up with a resume that’s difficult to explain to your next potential employer — especially when your reason for leaving these jobs is that you’ve simply lost interest.
It’s important to understand the reason behind your desire to leave before checking out and moving onto the next, most attractive job opportunity.
Before you take the leap into a new role, here are five important steps to take to assess whether this is the right time to make a move in your career. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Understand your reason for wanting to leave your job
Having a clear reason for leaving is essential. Many serial job-hoppers have a tendency to act compulsively when they’re offered a new role. That willingness to commit to a new offer can backfire if the promised opportunity and reality don’t match up.
Are you simply bored? Don’t have enough work to do to fill your work day? Ask your boss if there are any additional assignments that you can help out with. Explain to your boss that you enjoy taking on new challenges, and that a fresh task will help keep your motor going and your interest high.
2. Evaluate whether it’s worth leaving
Does leaving your job outweigh the benefit of staying? Take a moment to visualize the pros and cons of your decision.
Write out a list that compares the good to the bad when it comes to staying or leaving. Time yourself as you write down your thoughts, taking 10 minutes to write out the benefits of staying, 15 minutes to take a break, and returning to write out the drawbacks for another 10 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
When done, compare your two lists and talk them over with someone you trust to help make the best decision for you.
3. Find something outside of work that you enjoy
Sometimes we need a new distraction. Maybe it’s not your job, but your overall routine that’s left you feeling bored.
Find a new activity to do after work or on the weekend that will add some new flavor to your life. What have you always wanted to try? It’s never too late to learn something new, whether it’s how to salsa dance or how to make pottery.
Your job is your livelihood, so adjust your extracurricular activities before calling it quits to see if it gives you the new thrill you’re seeking.
4. Start a competition — against yourself
Up for a new challenge? Why not turn your day-to-day tasks into a competition with yourself?
Find a way to reward yourself for short term wins like finishing your workload each week. If you successfully prepared for and led a big meeting, go ahead and treat yourself afterward. The ultimate reward is that you stick with your job for a solid period of time, strengthening the employment history listed on your resume.
5. Reinvent your job
If you’re feeling the itch because you find your work boring, consider reinventing your job. You probably haven’t been functioning at your highest ability for a while. Think about what would happen if you decided to go the opposite route, and give 200 percent to everything you do!
If you have projects that aren’t finished, make a plan for how to complete them. If possible, spend a day shadowing a senior employee in your department whom you really admire, and try to incorporate their work style into yours. Do your best to strive to be the best employee that you can be.
If, after all of this, you still feel it’s a good move to leave your job, then do so. But make sure it’s because you did all you could to make it work, and not due to boredom!
If you changed jobs recently, what questions did you ask yourself before making the decision?
Erica M. Baity (@ericambaity) is a career and interview strategist. She writes about career development and interviewing best practices, both conventional and unconventional, on her personal blog.