Many times, whether there is a crisis or not, we think about a career change or if it is the right time to do it. Everyone has their own reasons. Sometimes it is nothing critical concerning our current job, but we have reached a maximum level of growth in the company where we are now, and we simply need something more.
Nowadays it is rare for anyone to spend many years, even decades, in the same company. All HR managers know that there is a limit to talent retention: they assume that, sooner or later, all members of staff will be progressively renewed. Their role as human capital managers is to ensure that this process occurs in the best possible way for both employees and the organization.
In other cases, the desire for a career change also has to do with the genuine ambition to continue developing professionally, taking on new challenges, and gaining access to new learning… but being very unhappy with what we have now, that is, from a less favorable position both at a corporate level and in terms of the employee’s psychological well-being. Maybe the conditions are not as promised, maybe the project’s progress is slow and does not seem to be improving, maybe the working environment is unbearable or we feel that the level of recognition we get is not what our professional brand deserves. In other words, we want to change because there is negative energy.
In these cases, the employee feels their experience has clearly reached an endpoint and begins to develop feelings of deep boredom, disengagement from their tasks, and lack of motivation that leads them to seek change.
Either way, it seems that the coherent thing to do in both situations is to start an active job search process and, sooner or later, move from “how to change jobs” to “thanks for everything, I’m leaving”. However, even though some people manage to get through these situations very smoothly, others get into a deadlock that prevents them from changing jobs even though there is no doubt in their minds (or so it seems) that they want and, more importantly, need a career change.
I want a career change but I’m not doing anything about it: why?
1. Fear of the future
This is probably the number one reason why employees who are wondering how to change jobs delay the moment to take the step and notify their managers of their voluntary resignation.
What if the next job is worse than this one? What if I don’t find another job? What if it looks bad for the company and has consequences in the future? What if I regret it later? We could go on with questions of this kind forever and they all have something in common: change scares us and that makes us stay instead of venturing, exploring, or changing.
2. Laziness in getting started
Sometimes the problem is not a lack of confidence in our future opportunities, but a feeling of being overwhelmed by the consequences of leaving our current company and looking for a new role. When we visualize these phases, we end up arriving at the one in which we join a new company from scratch where we will be newcomers and will have to go through a whole process of adapting until we feel fully integrated, not to mention a change in habits, schedules…
Laziness and fear can coexist, of course, and they do in most cases: behind any “phew, I would do it but I’m so lazy” there is usually an “I’m afraid of feeling bad while going through the process”.
3. Misunderstood loyalty
Along with laziness and fear, there is another reason that prevents people who are thinking about a career change from taking the plunge and, indeed, want to do so. It is the feeling of being loyal to the company and therefore not tolerating the idea of leaving at this point.
This generates a great deal of psychological ambivalence. On the one hand, the person is unhappy and does not feel they can identify with what they are doing. On the other hand, they feel they have to continue to respond, they feel “obliged” not to leave yet. “It is not a good time, a few more months will symbolically free me from this commitment, now I would let them down, in the recruitment process I promised them continuity, I feel indebted to them even though I am now unhappy”… Do these phrases ring a bell?
There are many reasons to avoid career change and usually, all of them are legitimate: we are perfectly entitled to our fears, laziness, and loyalties. Just as it happens so many times in life when thinking about how to change jobs we tend to see it as something very easy from the outside: if you are not comfortable, leave. However, from the inside, we all have our vulnerabilities and responsibilities that, despite our job dissatisfaction, make us stay in our job.
How do you know if a career change is a good decision?
1. First and foremost, caution
Do not rush, assess the reasons that have driven you to a career change and, of course, the alternatives available to you. Don’t let yourself get carried away by an urge or by a rough patch: there are bad times in every job and before asking yourself how to change your job it is worthwhile to evaluate how serious is the situation you are in right now or how good is the alternative you are considering.
2. Don’t idealize the future
As mentioned, no company and no job is perfect. Not even those companies or jobs that look the best are free from having a flip side that often only comes to light once you’re in.
If you cling to the rigid idea that the only possible solution to your current job dissatisfaction is to change jobs and that, as soon as you do, your discomfort will disappear and will be automatically replaced by well-being, you may be right… or you may be hugely disappointed.
3. Look beyond the pros and cons
You obviously spend a lot of time thinking about the consequences of a career change at this time and it is likely that you have already gone through the same point several times and, still, the situation is deadlocked.
Go one step further: ask yourself, either if you stay where you are or if you take the step of leaving, what is the best and what is the worst thing that could happen if you do so. Don’t you think this brings a new layer of nuance to your thinking?
If you do, you will be able to see clearly how good or bad the future is that you imagine as you think about changing jobs, which is important for assessing how much it’s worth staying at your current company and how much it’s worth changing jobs.
Ifeel has created an emotional well-being program for companies designed by its team of leading psychologists. Its objective is to help companies place the care of their employees’ psychological health at the center of their company culture.
To do this, it is essential that managers have the necessary skills to retain talent. It is about detecting those factors that can worsen the employee experience of staff and trigger them to change jobs at a bad time for the company.
In addition, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to improve the work environment, reward system, and job roles to get the most out of the teams in their charge.
Moreover, ifeel‘s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on individual needs. As a result, they can access various mental health care tools with ifeel‘s app. On level two, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s registered psychologists. If additional support is needed, they only have to access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases such as theirs.
We hope you found this post about career change interesting. If you want more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible. You may also be interested in this post about mental health at work.