The decision to change jobs can come at any point along your career—even when you’re at the top. Maybe you’ve known for a while now, or the idea to change jobs may pop into your head seemingly out of nowhere. Either way, there’s a few unspoken ground rules when it comes to transitioning jobs, and many of them can become complicated once you factor in personal/professional relationships, the fear of changing routines, and the ever-common feeling that you don’t deserve better career opportunities (Imposter Syndrome, anyone?). While there is a lot to consider when you transition jobs, doing so gracefully and respectfully will help any overwhelming anxieties subside.
Once you feel the itch to keep your professional ball rolling, take time to reflect on where the urge is coming from. Has company culture declined in recent years or did your personality not fit start-up company-life from the beginning? During this time, you may realize that some of the problems you’re experiencing can be solved within your current role or company. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a change in daily responsibilities or a raise to make you feel more valued as an employee.
If it’s honestly time to move on, beginning a conversation with your boss about how you’re feeling creates a line of communication that provides context for your upcoming leave. Respectfully talking things through ensures that no bridges are burned, and it may help improve conditions for whoever will fill your position. When you begin this process, it’s best to avoid blaming the company for your leave. Instead, reference the opportunities for growth and a new environment you’ll have by transitioning jobs.
Next, try to identify what you would want to have in the next role that you don’t have now. This will reduce the chances of you moving to an environment or part that presents the same challenges. Similarly, make sure that you’ll still have access to most of what you liked about your old job. Making a list of what you want, what you are willing to give up, and what you won’t tolerate in a new position is a way to organize your professional boundaries visually.
After a tiring round of interviews, you’ve found the job of your dreams! (Using the Mamizi app, of course.) Before you dive head-first into a new workload, allow yourself to take time off to prepare for this new journey. Major career shifts can be emotionally exhausting, and it’s important not to overextend yourself too early on. Journaling, meditating, or completing any other self-care practices will ensure that you go into this new opportunity refreshed and ready to reap all the benefits it has to offer.
However, the first few weeks of the new job may not go as smoothly as you expected—and that’s perfectly fine. Adjusting to a new space, workload, and culture can leave you feeling unsure of your abilities. A great way to combat Imposter Syndrome is to keep a ‘yay me!’ list of all your accomplishments. This way, you have a record of all the value you have added to the company and a reminder of why you changed jobs in the first place.
On average, people have about ten different jobs during their lifetime. Knowing when to change careers and have a process for doing so will save you time and unnecessary worry. Throughout this process, it’s important to remember that you are deserving of all opportunities that come your way and that change isn’t always bad!