• Is a job move right for you?

  • Changing jobs or career is a big decision. Before you start the hunt for a new role, be clear about the exact reasons why you want to leave your current position. If you’re unhappy about elements of your job it can sometimes be easy to have a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction and make a rash decision, before logically thinking and understanding whether it’s possible to make improvements at your current workplace.


    Make sure any decision is part of a positive plan to improve your situation, lifestyle and job prospects.

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    Make a pros and cons list 


    Why do you want to move? Is it the salary, flexibility, working conditions, lack of career progression or something else? Maybe it’s a combination of factors?


    Recruiter and career coach, Caroline Ceniza-Levine, explains in a Forbes article, “there are additional, yet often overlooked reasons for hanging onto your job even if you hate it”. She lists five conditions that if they apply to you, it may mean “your unhappiness isn’t job-related, and you’ll just bring your current problems into your new job and hate that one too.”

    Write down the pros and cons for both staying in, and leaving your job. You might be surprised that there are more positives on your list for remaining in your current role than you thought there would be, or you may realise it is time for you to do something different.

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    Try negotiating rather than leaving


    “Anytime you’re dissatisfied with your job, go to your employer to see what can be changed before you depart,” negotiation expert, Dr Victoria Medvec, told business magazine, Fast Company. “Assume that your employer wants to keep you and would like a chance to modify things.”


    Have an open and honest conversation with your line manager about how you’re feeling, the areas where you think there is room for improvement or how you’d like to progress your career. They should be able to advise whether the company can support you and help you reach your goals.


    Review your development areas 

    If you’ve been in a role for a while, it’s OK to feel like you may not be progressing or have variation, especially if you’re doing similar tasks on a regular basis. However, before jumping ship, evaluate your skills and check if there are any gaps in your knowledge that you could fill. This will help you develop in your chosen profession or specialism and/or give you more job satisfaction. Check out our advice on how to assess your skills and development areas, for guidance on discovering what holes you may have in your knowledge and what to do about them.


    Many companies offer in-house training or will fund external courses and workshops. Another avenue is to take an apprenticeship – no longer simply for school leavers, they’re for anyone over 16. Many employers offer these to people looking to break into a specific industry, or to current professionals changing careers.


    Have a conversation with your manager and/or Learning and Development team to explore all the training options available to you. You can also check out the training section in this toolkit to find out what free training courses and tools are available to you. Many of these are produced by accredited companies and recognised across many industries.


    Not sure what development areas to focus on? Our recent research found working with others; communication and creativity are the top skills employers are look for right now. Check out our Professional Services Salary Guide 2023 to understand what soft skills employers are looking for and how you can stand out from the crowd.


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    Look at internal vacancies


    If you’re employed by a large company with multiple departments or businesses under the same brand, or you work in the public sector, there could be vacancies in other teams. There could even be opportunities to relocate to a different location – whether that’s locally, nationally or working remotely.


    Check out your employer’s internal job board or have a chat with HR to see if there are vacancies you can apply for or areas you could move to.


    If you feel you’ve exhausted all your options and are ready to start a new job search, check out the next section of this toolkit. Alternatively, speak to one of our specialist recruiters who will be able to guide you and make your job search easier.