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You may be thinking of a job change. You want to position yourself in a better place or move forward in your career. Or, perhaps you’re trying to escape a negative situation and need to preserve your health and sanity.
No matter what your reason for a job change, you know what’s best for you and why you need to leave. Something better will come along if you invest in yourself.
1. Reason for a Job Change: Better Pay
You may want to change jobs because you’ve had an offer of a better-paying job from a different company. Maybe that increase in salary will result in your having more responsibility and perhaps staying later at the office, but it’s worth it to you. With the extra salary, you’ll be able to improve your quality of life by moving to a nicer place, paying your bills on time, and saving more for retirement and vacation.
To figure out if you’re making enough money in your field, check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information about average salaries for various jobs. For example, in the second quarter of 2019, the median weekly salary for full-time employees was $908, which translates to just over $43,000 per year. You should look up earnings in your industry – and the cost of living in your town – to see if you need to look into changing your job to find better pay.
2. More Vacation and Flexible Time
If you’re asked on an interview to give the reason for your job change, you could tell your potential employer that you admire their vacation policy and the flexibility they offer their employees. Many companies now offer their workers unlimited PTO because it helps them attract the best talent. It also gives employees a good work-life balance and encourages them to take a break when they need it.
A new employer may also allow employees to stay at home and work remotely when they need to. For example, many employees may be parents and need to take their kids to daycare or attend school meetings during the day. If you find yourself struggling with your current work-life balance, finding a company that offers flex hours is the way to go.
If you do make the switch to a more flexible employer with unlimited PTO and remote work, be careful to follow their policies. You’ll still have certain rules to adhere to, such as requesting time off well in advance and attending meetings remotely. You never want to make your employer feel taken advantage of.
3. Better Health Insurance
Health insurance is a huge deal when it comes to employment. A lot of people work full-time in positions they don’t like for years because their health insurance is too good to give up. Ideally, you’ll find a job and an employer you love and receive great health insurance as well.
In the United States, the average monthly premium per person is $574, and per family, it’s $1,634. If you are presented with an opportunity to go with a company that will cover most or all of these costs, then that’s an excellent reason for a job change. It’ll be better for your family and take some of the burden off from paying a high premium.
4. Improved Retirement Plan
Unfortunately, retirement is not at the top of everyone’s minds in the U.S., which is detrimental to their future. The latest statistics show that 22 percent of Americans have less than $5,000 saved up for retirement. Only 16 percent of people have saved $200,000 or more, which is realistic if you’re going to retire around age 65 and expect to live for up to 20 to 30 more years.
A great reason for a job change is a better retirement plan with your employer. Many employers will match your contributions up to a certain percentage of what you contribute to the plan. They will also team up with companies that will explain your retirement plan options to you and help you decide which one is the best. If your current employer does not provide a retirement plan or a high matching amount, consider making a switch.
5. Going Back to School
In the United States, 13.1 percent of adults have an advanced degree. Many industries require an advanced degree such as a master’s or a Ph.D. before you can earn more money and further your career. Going back to school, therefore, is a good reason for a job change.
You may choose to quit your job altogether and go back to school full-time, find a job that will allow you to work a more flexible schedule, or get a part-time job and go to school at night or online. Getting an advanced education and broadening your skill set means that you’ll come out ahead in the job market and be more competitive when you’ve finished your program.
When evaluating if you should go back to school, see how much it’s going to cost and if your program offers career placement opportunities. Also, look at how much money you could potentially make with your advanced degree to see if you’ll be able to pay off any loans you take out.
6. You Want a Challenge
Sometimes, your job just isn’t challenging enough. If you find yourself staring at the clock, waiting for it to be 5 p.m., you’re not getting enough to do, or your boss doesn’t give you assignments that challenge you, then this is a good reason for a job change. When you’re speaking with a potential employer, talk about this reason for a job change in the interview to show that you’re a hard worker who is up for a challenge.
Before you switch jobs, see if you can work with your boss to find more challenging assignments. Perhaps you’re not communicating well with your boss, and she doesn’t know that you’re bored. You can always tell her that you’ll help out with additional duties and take on harder tasks. This kind of initiative is going to impress your boss, and maybe you won’t even have to change jobs.
7. You Have a Bad Manager
Bad managers can ruin companies. A Gallup poll revealed that bad management results in $319 billion to $398 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. every year. If you have a manager who doesn’t treat you right, doesn’t pay attention to you, gives you tasks that are too easy or too challenging, isn’t invested in your growth, or just overall isn’t good at his job, this may be a good reason for a job change.
If you have a bad boss, you can try to repair the relationship by talking with him one on one and expressing your concerns. You can also go to HR if you don’t feel comfortable having that conversation. Sometimes, walking away is simply the best option. It’s up to you to decide what to do; ultimately, your end goal should be career satisfaction.
- BLS: Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers
- Forbes: More Companies Are Offering Unlimited Paid Vacation. Should You?
- PeopleKeep: How Much Does Individual Health Insurance Cost?
- CNBC: Here’s how much Americans have saved for retirement
- United States Census Bureau: About 13.1 Percent Have a Master’s, Professional Degree or Doctorate
- ATD: The (Still) Sad State of the American Manager—and What We Can Do About It
Kylie Ora Lobell has written about careers and HR for Legal Management Magazine, LiveCareer, LegalZoom, and WeWork.
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