Thinking About Leaving Your Job Under A Year? Before You Decide…Consider This!

Posted by Blair Fleming On Oct 9, 2013 3:09:00 PM

Thinking About Leaving Your Job Under a Year_ Before You Decide...Consider This

“To leave or not to leave…?” 

This is a good question and a frequently asked one, but unfortunately there is no one
good answer.  The best way to determine if it is time to leave a job under a year is to look at the pros and cons.  In other words, make sure you are leaving for the right reasons. 

Be Aware, Consider This!

1.  Are you hurting your chances of finding another job?  The average tenure of an employee at a company is 4.6 years.  This does vary depending on age and occupation, but it is a good indicator of what employers have traditionally expected from their new hires.  This doesn’t mean that you are not going to find another job if you leave one after a short time, but it might give a prospective employer an excuse to maybe say no.  By being “Job Hoppy” you may be showing employers that you are a risky hire.  Employers look for longevity.  This is a red button issue with a lot of hiring managers who want to feel that they are “hiring stability” and are investing in an employee that is going to be around for a while. 

Also, keep in mind that even though the economy is getting better, employers are still selective in who they hire.  Not only do employers look at your qualifications and accomplishments, they also base their decision on your entire work history.  Before you make a change, try to gauge what type of employee you are and look at your resume from an employer’s perspective: are you a good cultural fit, does your work history project a sense of being reliable, etc.  Your resume is usually your first point of contact with employers, and on average you will be competing with 250 other resumes for each job you apply to.  Employers are more likely to exclude a resume than include one because they can afford to be picky in their selection.  Don’t give them a reason to pass you over by having a resume that screams job hopping!

2.  Are you re-marketable, can you land another job?  While leaving a job can turn into higher pay and quick career advancement, how are you going to pitch yourself to a potential employer in order to get there?  Most interviewers tend to ask questions like: “Why are you looking to leave your current job?” If your reasons focus on salary, personal reasons or job responsibilities, it might make employers nervous.  They may fear that you will leave their company for the same reasons within a short amount of time. 

While leaving a company can happen for many reasons, employers are more interested in hearing why you want to work for their company and not your personal reasons for making a change.  

Examples of good responses might be:

  • It wasn’t a good cultural fit.  That’s what initially encouraged me to start my search and apply to [Company Name].  I feel like I will be a good fit here because…

  • The job I am currently doing isn’t what I was led to believe I was hired to do. I feel like I can make a positive impact at [Company Name] and further my skills…

Positive Change, Consider This!

1.  Can making a change advance your career?  Sometimes employees can be undervalued by employers and despite opportunity being available they are not considered for advancement. If you are in this situation you might have to consider moving for a career move/advancement.  Sometimes career moves like this can lead to an immediate increase in salary, better hours and/or a significant advancement, such as a promotion etc. Many have found that this is the easiest/fastest way to advance; the main thought being, why wait 5 years for a promotion when I can change companies and do it in half of the time.

Trending: Many new employees to the workforce (i.e. The Millennials) are notorious for not only jumping jobs, but also careers, in under a year to further their professional goals. Since 91% do not plan on staying at the same job for more than 3 years, the days of life long careers with the same company are nearing an end and the “new normal” might be around the corner.


2.  Could a change offer career fulfillment?  Too often we find ourselves in a rut, doing the same job with the same people day-in and day-out.  Leaving your current employer to gain exposure to different people/cultures and environments can be important for your continued personal/professional growth.  Getting different perspectives on business, policies and ways of life causes us to become well-rounded in all aspects of our lives.  Contributing to career fulfillment, these experiences change our perspective and can offer us ideas for new career paths and in some cases changes the way we do business for the better. 

While staying the course for a year or more is probably still the best strategy, making a change early can offer you a variety of different experiences.  In the end you have to do what is best for you, your career and professional development. Just be aware of the inevitable pros and cons of your final decision and that any decisions you make today may have long lasting implications for your career. 

Have you ever left a job in under a year? If so, what was your experience…let us know?

TAGS: Job Search, Workplace

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