According to November figures from the ONS, the total job-to-job moves in the UK between July and September 2021 increased to a record high of 979,000. Analysts say these moves were primarily driven by people opting to leave rather than being dismissed, suggesting that workers feel more empowered than ever to explore new opportunities.
Since the pandemic, employees have been leaving the workforce or switching jobs in their droves in a move dubbed 'the great resignation'. The last two years' events have seemingly encouraged workers to retrain and pursue a new career or seek out more flexible opportunities to improve their work-life balance. For some, the way their employers treated them during the pandemic fuelled the need to find something new. Those employers that did little to alleviate workers' concerns, guarantee job security or provide a safe working environment are now paying the price, with key talent opting to move on.
While changing roles can be a great way to climb the ladder, boost your salary and enhance your skills, leaving a role is still a huge decision, particularly after the uncertainty of the pandemic. If you're reading this and are tempted to look for a new role but don't know if it's the right thing to do, here are some reasons why it could be time to move on.
How did your employer treat staff during the pandemic?
For some employers, keeping workers on their books during the pandemic was enough positive action. And with thousands of people losing their jobs, shouldn't you be grateful to be employed? Of course, holding onto your position during such challenging times is a great relief and not to be taken for granted, especially if your employer operates in a sector badly impacted by Covid-19. However, there are more factors at play, and if you're having doubts, now is an excellent time to evaluate how you were treated and whether more could have been done to support you and the wider team.
Were you offered the opportunity to work from home if your role allowed for such flexibility? Did your manager support you over this time - were they empathetic about your circumstances? Did they have a clear plan in place that was communicated to you, or were you left wondering what was going on? How worried were you about your job security over this period, and what did they do to alleviate these concerns? Has anything changed to benefit employees since the pandemic? If you're not satisfied with the answers, it could be time to look into what other employers are doing for their people and whether they might be a better fit for you.
Is your job what you expected?
Organisations change over time as they adapt to evolving markets and respond to challenges. If you've been doing the same job for a while, you might find your responsibilities have veered off course or that your career trajectory is no longer the same. For example, you might have started with a goal of securing a management position, but the company has since gone on to hire more senior professionals, meaning your chances of progression are limited.
Alternatively, you might be new to a company and find the role hasn't turned out the way you expected or differs too much from what was advertised. Rather than fit into someone else's mould of what your career should look like, explore your options to find something that complements your skills and aspirations.
Have you gotten too comfortable?
We know the value of being comfortable in your job and having security, but if you believe the convenience of staying in the same role is hindering your career, and there's nowhere else to go in the company, you may want to look at other options. Is there variety in your role, or are you doing the same tasks repeatedly? Are you up to speed with the latest industry knowledge and technical advancements? Are your career aspirations achievable if you stay there? Rather than limit your skills and experience to how one particular company does things, start looking at job descriptions for similar roles and see how many boxes you're ticking.
Would you recommend a friend?
We sometimes tolerate situations for longer than we would expect others to. If a position came up to do the same role as you, would you recommend a friend who fits the bill or warn them to steer clear? If it's the latter, ask yourself why, if it's not good enough for them, why you deem it acceptable for you. List the reasons why you wouldn't recommend your job to someone else and assess whether any of the issues are fixable or if it's time to move on.
Do you get along with your team?
We won't always get along with everyone and, while people will come and go in business, if you constantly feel like a fish out of water, it could come down to the work environment or culture. Even if you love your work, a bad environment can hinder your career growth and seriously impact your happiness and overall mental health.
The good news is that today's employers emphasise communicating their culture and values to attract the best talent. Browsing the careers websites of organisations in your field, reading reviews on Google or Glassdoor, or just connecting with existing and ex-employees on LinkedIn will give you greater insights into what it's really like to work there. Remember, it's a candidate-driven market right now, so don't settle for something that isn't right.
Looking for some guidance?
If you’re thinking about a new opportunity and want to know what’s out there, PRS can help. Our expert team will examine your experience before discussing some of the most rewarding options available to you right now. Send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0207 553 5660 and get one step closer to that dream job.