Chances are, if you’re under the age of 30, you will change your job at some point in the future, or maybe you already have. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker today stays in their job for a total of 4.4 years. The average working person will hold 10-15 jobs over the course of their career, and for millennials that number is even higher: a survey from the Future Workplace found that 91 percent of millennials expect to stay at a job for less than three years, meaning they would hold 15-20 jobs in their working lives!
Millennials tend to get a bad rap for a lot of things from older generations: they’re on their phones all the time, they don’t respect authority, they’re lazy, they expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter, etc., etc. But truthfully, what these statistics demonstrate is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a millennial or not; job-hopping is simply the norm in today’s workforce.
There are variety of factors that influence one’s decision to change jobs, but typically it comes down to feeling that you’ve reached your maximum potential in your current job and the only way to further your career goals is to move onto a new position, or potentially a new company. Sometimes career changes occur naturally, in the form of a promotion or raise, but if you feel that you just aren’t getting anywhere in your current job and you don’t feel fully satisfied, then you should be in command of your own career, and in order to do that you need to know your goals.
According to Forbes contributor Liz Ryan, the best way to identify your career goals and determine if it’s the right time to make a career move is to pose it to yourself in the form of a question. Ask yourself what you want out of your career and in your life, and determine if your current job is giving you those things. If not, it may be time to move on. “The more clearly you can see your goal, the more tangible it will become for you,” Ryan says. She uses a helpful “What do I want?” graphic in the form of a pie chart to help break down your considerations. An article from Cosmopolitan also advises that you ask yourself questions to evaluate if it’s time to move on in your career.
Here are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Are you seeking financial stability? If your current salary is not giving you the financial stability you need to have peace of mind or to make ends meet, then it may be worth looking into other jobs to see if you can find a position that will pay you more for the work you put in.
- Are you trying to find your path? Have you ever asked yourself if this is really what you want to be doing or what you’re meant to do? If so, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what you should be doing with your life. If you have a gut feeling there is something else you’re meant to be doing with your life, then figure out what it is and trust your instincts.
- Are you utilizing your creativity? If you’re a creative person, then you know how important it is to keep up with your creative pursuits and to feel that your creativity is acknowledged. Perhaps your current job does not allow you to utilize your talents and you would thrive in a more creative environment.
- Do you not have enough time in your life? Work-life balance is important for any job. If you don’t have enough time in your life for the things that matter to you, such as your family or simple things like reading a book or exercise, then it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost touch with yourself. It should be your goal, then, to find a career that will give you the flexibility you need for a balanced life.
- Are you bored in your current position? Boredom is never a good sign, and it may show in your attitude which could put you in a bad position with your boss. It is either a signal that your current job is not challenging you enough or that maybe you should be doing something else entirely.
- Do you feel like you could (and should) be doing more? Similar to feeling bored, you may also feel that you’ve mastered your job responsibilities and are dabbling in higher-level tasks, then it is time to either move up in your company or move on to a new one. If you feel that you should be considered for a higher position, then start to make a list of your accomplishments within the company to bring before your boss.
Hopefully these questions give you a good start to put you on the path to finding a job that’s the right fit…at least before moving onto the next one!