If you’re thinking about switching jobs, you’re not alone. Thanks partly to the pandemic, surveys report anywhere from 26% to nearly half of all U.S. workers are considering a job shift.
In fact, the “Turnover Tsunami” may already have started as voluntary quit rates continue to soar.
What’s behind the numbers? Some workers who delayed making a career move when the pandemic began now feel it’s time for a change. Other workers have new priorities or feel an urge to explore new possibilities.
However, some serious self-examination is in order, before you join the “Great Resignation.” Know the answers to these four questions before making a career move.
1. Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?
The pandemic caused many people to re-examine what they need from a job and what they want in their lives. Maybe you want to explore other interests or pursue new goals. Perhaps you love working from home but are being compelled to return to the office. Or maybe you thrive on in-person contact with your co-workers that continued virtual meetings just can’t provide.
For some, remote work opens new possibilities that might be worth exploring.
Maybe you’re just curious about what’s out there. What’s the harm in looking, right? The grass may be greener somewhere else but avoid making spontaneous decisions.
2. Can Your Current Job be Saved?
What aspects of your job are unsatisfying? You may be able to negotiate issues like salary, hybrid work options, work hours or workload. Do you have a terrible boss or a toxic department? Maybe you can move to a different team. Only you can decide what you can live with and what is non-negotiable.
“Consider if there’s anything that your employer can do to keep you. Know exactly what would need to be done in order to rectify the situation,” says The Muse.
3. Do You Have a Plan?
Before you leave, take time to sweat the details.
The Balance Careers recommends these steps:
- Update your resume and LinkedIn profiles.
- Make some LinkedIn recommendations. Often, your connections will return the favor.
- Save non-proprietary work samples and documents that will be helpful in future jobs.
- Collect contact information of colleagues you want to stay in touch with.
“Make it a point to track your professional successes throughout the year,” Forbes adds, including “financial goals you reached, cost savings, positive feedback from peers or superiors, complex situations that you resolved, awards and any certifications or courses you completed.”
4. Are Your Finances in Order?
Quitting before you have another job is risky; the search may take longer than you expect. Make a budget based on your current finances. Your emergency fund should cover expenses for at least six months, experts advise. If it doesn’t, know how much you can expect in unemployment benefits. Consider other employer benefits, such as health care. If you need a doctor suddenly, can you foot the bill?