How to Make a Job Change Decision

Life & Career, HR & Leadership, Community

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Let’s go back in time a little to look at the making of a job change decision. In the summer of 2016, I was in an educational training on Hiring Techniques – that go beyond simple interview notions of competency – with a team that does intensive hiring. It was my priority when giving the training that the content took into account the changes in technology and employee-employer relations, and reflected the realities of life.

One of the most-mentioned topics in the training was the acceptable job change frequency. If we think of years around 2008, it would be reacted against when a person changed 3 jobs in 5 years. People making the interview decisions (who decide whether or not to invite the CV owner to an interview) would consider changing 3 jobs within 5 years as disloyalty, inconsistency, unawareness of one’s own skills and boundaries, failure to take on the values of the workplace, inability to build good relationships in a corporation and unreliableness. I have observed this impression to exist in many places in the world, no matter what the personal story is.

Employee-Corporate Relations are Changing Rapidly

According to BLS data, an adult now changes his job averagely 12 times in his business life.

According to the reports of Time to Work, in Canada, for example, the percentage of people working in one job for more than 4 years between the years 1990-2000 was 55-60% while this number is now – after 2000 – 30%.

Setting future trends and changes for many other sectors, the technology sector is leading the way as a pioneer. This is not unique to HR only but brands like Google, Amazon, and Apple are pioneering when talking about Human Resources with the vested benefits they offer, their fun office environments with actual slides, big gifts like special massages, and most importantly by bringing the topic of employer branding to all companies’ agenda. To use the popular term, they are “trend-setters”.

So thinking that their realities of today in other areas will diffuse to all sectors in time wouldn’t be a wrong analysis.

But where do these “pioneer” companies stand in terms of employee loyalty and what can we conclude looking at their position?

According to a research PayScale did on employees of technology companies, an average Google employee is 29 years old and works for only 1.1 years before leaving the company.

Isn’t that surprising?

Let’s look at Amazon. Average employee age is 32, and period of working in the company is 1 year. 12 months!

An ironic note: Kodak got the first rank in employee loyalty. Average age of employees is 50. Period of working in the company is 20 years… We all know very well the state of Kodak today.

So why do people leave their jobs?

According to the report by Time to Work, people explain their reasons for leaving their last job as:

Relationship with the manager – 37%

Feeling bored and unhappy with the work – 29%

Finding a better job opportunity – 20%

Mismatch with the co-workers and the company culture – 14%

We have already said that it should be “pulling” factors – not “pushing” ones – that direct you to a job change. (See also: Three Things People Who can Manage their Careers Think before Resigning) We see that this valid only in 20% of the cases. 37% changed their job due to relationship with the manager; 29% left due to feeling bored and unhappy with the work; and 14% left due to mismatch with the co-workers and the company culture. So “pushing” negative factors are the triggers for job change in the 80% of the cases. Those with the highest chance of entering a more successful and happier life are the ones in the remaining 20%.

The most important conclusion for us

What should we conclude when taking into account both our individual observations on employee-corporation relationships and research data? What do all these signal about the future?

There is actually a self-evident conclusion.

It is now the employee’s responsibility to do career planing, not the company’s. Everyone has to plan their own career and start the process of change once they realize their current job has reached a limit of ability gaining and improvement.

Now it is the employee’s responsibility to;

Discover his own abilities,

Choose the correct company,

Find the most suitable role for himself in that company and move towards it,

Decide in which area he wants to improve himself,

Determine which skills he is going to invest in,

And most importantly;

See when a company no longer offers him opportunities for development and he needs to change his job.

We will make our own ways.

Contracts between the Employer and the Employee

There has always been two kinds of contracts between companies and employees. One of them is given and signed on paper. It determines the conditions and boundaries of the job from salary to working hours. The second one is verbal and determines how self-sacrificing and precaution-taking the company will be to the employee and the employee will be to the company.

There is no change in the first contract. But the second one is no longer valid today. This verbal contract used to give the message: “You show trust and loyalty to this company, make sacrifices when necessary and I will not leave them unreturned, and I will secure your future.”

Now the verbal contract side of the job is based on different truths as well. The message the employee gives the company today is: “I am here as long as you improve and benefit me. Not one single day more.”

Don’t expect your company to find what is good for your career and future and look out for your rights.

Now it is only up to the individual to do career planning and draw their own improvement plan.

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