Should I Stay or Should I Go?
by Jill Frank
Do you ever get frustrated with the amount of time it takes to get ahead at work? Do you find yourself surfing the major job boards looking for a quick fix to your stationary career? News flash -- you may actually be putting the brakes on your corporate climb by taking a job with another organization.
The latest generation to enter the workforce is building a reputation as chronic job changers. Although the employment situation will never be as it was in generations past, with the majority of employees classified as "lifers," there are benefits to working your way up one corporate ladder as opposed to several.
Commitment is often rewarded, and the business world is no exception. Most organizations will take a chance on internal candidates that they wouldn't on an external candidate. Candidates with a proven track record hold a lot of appeal to those making the selection decisions. The ability to access past performance appraisals, speak with the employee's current manager, and see the candidate in action are substantial benefits that can't be duplicated with an external candidate. Often, the only information available for an external is his or her employment dates and recommendation letters by references of the applicant's choosing. Everything else being equal, the majority of hiring managers would select the internal.
One major downside to changing jobs is that you have to start over again. A great deal of time is wasted job-hopping. There is a pecking order in every organization, whether it is publicized or not -- and the newest person automatically goes to the end of the line. As you prove yourself and new employees are hired, you slowly climb back up to the same standing you had when you left your last job.
Sometimes clichés are right on the money and when you change jobs -- the grass isn't always greener. In fact, you could be jumping out of the pan and into the fire. Who's to say that you are going to move up any faster in the new company than you would in the old? Just as candidates are on their best behavior during the interview process, so too are the companies doing the hiring. Interviewing is a lot like dating -- both parties accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. There are challenges with every job and in every organization. If you have clear goals and priorities, it will be much easier to make the right decision.
Expecting your employer to provide you with a sense of accomplishment sets you up for disappointment and changing jobs becomes a habit. One too many job changes gives potential employers the impression of instability -- even if what appears to be instability from the outside is actually frustration and dissatisfaction. Even though frequent job changes are becoming more accepted, the rising cost of recruitment and turnover prohibits many recruiters from pursuing candidates with an erratic work history.
Although there is usually a salary increase involved with a job change, make sure to consider how much money you could be losing before you leave. There can be tremendous financial gains to be had by building tenure in one organization. Leaving before you are vested can result in a major financial loss, including matching contributions to 401(k), employee stock purchase or retirement plans.
The cure for sluggish career advancement isn't always changing jobs. The answer lies in action. Go after what you want instead of waiting for someone to hand you success on a silver platter. What motivates you? What steps can you take to alleviate the dissatisfaction you are experiencing with your career advancement? Even if your organization doesn't offer career development programs, you can take the initiative to create your own plan of action. No one ever accomplished their goals simply by wishing.
According to Careerbuilder.com, forty-one percent of workers will change jobs by the end of 2007. Through planning and skill development you could be promoted into a position created by that turnover, putting you on the fast-track to achieving your career goals and rising one rung higher on the corporate ladder.
Copyright 2006 Jill Frank. All Rights Reserved.
Jill Frank is "The Promotion Coach." Get her FREE report, "7 Unintentional Actions That Will Slow Your Climb Up the Corporate Ladder" and FREE advice on corporate advancement at http://www.corporateadvancementcoach.com
Jill Frank is "The Promotion Coach." Get her FREE report, "7 Unintentional Actions That Will Slow Your Climb Up the Corporate Ladder" and FREE advice on corporate advancement at http://www.leverageyourtalent.com.
Jill Frank may be contacted at http://www.leverageyourtalent.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill's Blog is The Executive Ladder at http://executiveladder.typepad.com/