Changing jobs advice

6 questions to ask before changing jobs

Female professional considering reasons for changing jobs

Changing jobs is a common part of working life. According to The Balance, people, on average, change jobs 10 to 15 times over the course of their careers. Since you’re bound to hop from one job to another at least a few times, it’s smart to be prepared for what lies ahead if you do want to change jobs. 

But what if you are not sure you want to leave your current job? There are a number of considerations and reasons for changing jobs, both personal and professional, you should take into account. Here are 6 questions you should ask yourself about changing jobs before you take the leap.

1. Have you exhausted all opportunities at your current job?

Everyone falls into a slump at work at some point. Maybe you’re not feeling challenged anymore, or you don’t connect with your colleagues. Whatever the problem is, see if it can be resolved before you seek out a new opportunity. Chances are there are some steps you can take to make your life at work better.

Even just changing the way you view your job can make you happier at work. A positive outlook goes a long way toward workplace fulfillment. Also, be sure to look for ways to lift your spirits outside of work.

If you can honestly say you’ve explored every option at your current position without success, then it may be time to move on.

2. Are you thinking long term?

Changing jobs is a decision that will affect many other facets of your life. You could be uprooting your family or leaving close friends. You’ll have to adjust to a new company culture and, possibly, a new way of life. However, that all may be worth the sacrifice if you can picture yourself happy and engaged at work years down the line. 

Just don’t let the thrill of a new job prospect cloud your perception. Remember, all jobs have some positive and negative aspects, so changing jobs or changing companies might not always be a good fit.

Thinking long term also means considering retirement plans. What options would you have at your new job? There are some important questions you should be asking a prospective employer about their retirement offerings.

3. Are you only thinking about the money? 

A bigger paycheck is certainly a major incentive to change jobs, but don’t let it be the sole deciding factor when weighing your options. If you’re only concerned about how much money you’ll be making in your new job, you might be overlooking your quality of life. Keep in mind that no amount of money will make up for an otherwise unhappy work experience.

4. Will your skills and training cross over? 

Changing companies or jobs often involves some degree of a learning curve. However, you have to determine whether you’re comfortable starting over in some areas. It can be difficult to transition from a job in which you have extensive experience to one that is totally new to you,

But if you’re up for the challenge, expect some bumps along the way. You will need to invest time and money into developing new skills, even if it's just taking a few courses on weekends, so you have to really want to make it work. 

5. Do you know what you want?

When you’re deciding whether to make a job change, there will be a lot of voices from all directions influencing your decision. Family, friends and other people in your life will tell you what they think you should do. These perspectives may be helpful to an extent, but other people’s opinions regarding your career aren’t nearly as important as your own. 

If you're confident about your strengths and understand where you have room for improvement, you'll have a better idea of what your next steps should be.

6. Have you done all your research? 

Before you take a job offer, answer the following questions:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There’s no such thing as too much research when considering a job change. 

Changing your job is a big decision that requires careful consideration. Take your time to think about your personal values and career goals. Taking this decision seriously will be worth it when you finally get the job that you love. 

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