10 Reasons for a Job Change (and 10 Steps to Take Before You Quit)

Are you ready for a job change? Successfully transitioning from one career to another takes planning and preparation. Even the simplest job change can have an effect on your long-term career development goals. With that in mind, it’s important to determine whether or not you’re ready for a job change before you jump ship.

Ten reasons you might be ready for a job change are described below as are ten steps to take before you make that change, so you can make an intelligent decision and transition successfully.

10 Reasons for a Job Change

If you’re experiencing any of the ten things described below, then you might be ready for a job change.

1. Your Job Offers No Mobility

Are you stagnating in your career? Does your company offer no room for mobility or growth? If you’re stuck in a rut with no chance of getting out, then a job change might be the right decision.

2. Going to Work Makes You Miserable

If your job, your boss, or your colleagues are making you miserable, regardless of the reason, then you should start looking for an alternative position.

3. Your Earning Potential Is Limited

If your current job, employer, or career offers limited earning potential, then a job change is often the only way to reach your earning goals.

4. Your Job Won’t Help You Reach Your Goals

Aside from your earning goals, what other career and life goals do you have? Does your job position you to achieve success and reach those goals in the future? If not, then consider moving to a new job or an entirely new career.

5. Your Life Has Changed

Life changes can be catalysts for job changes. For example, a new mother might want to find a job with more flexible hours in order to spend time with her baby. Don’t allow your job to get in the way of your life. Instead, find a job that works with your life rather than against it.

6. A New Opportunity Lands on Your Doorstep

Sometimes a new opportunity seems to appear out of nowhere. Don’t be afraid to make a leap when a great opportunity presents itself to you!

7. Your Outlook on Life Has Changed

As people grow and experience life, their outlooks on life can change significantly. For example, a Wall Street executive might decide to leave the financial industry behind and pursue work in the non-profit field instead. Another person might decide to go back to school in order to pursue a career in a completely different field than what he has studied or experienced in the past. Whatever your reasons are, if your outlook on life changes and your job is no longer in line with that outlook, it’s time to move on.

8. You Have a Plan or a Cushion to Have No Plan

If you’ve taken the time to outline what you want and how you’re going to get there, then you should make the leap and change your job. Alternately, if you have a cushion that will enable you to survive financially until you develop a plan, then you might be ready to make the leap.

9. You Lack the Skills You Need to Reach Your Goals

If you know where you want your career to go but don’t have the necessary skills to get there, then you need to find a job that will give you those skills and pursue the education and training needed to get that job. Changing your job might be the first step.

10. Your Health Is at Risk

Is your job killing you? Are you over-stressed and over-worked? If your job is damaging your health and negatively affecting your life or the lives of your family members, then you should change your job.

10 Steps to Take Before You Quit

Don’t say, “I quit,” until you follow the ten steps below to set yourself up for a successful job change.

1. Research the Type of Job You Want

Gather all of the information you can about the kind of job you want so you can confirm it’s the right job for you. Use this information to make sure you’re ready to pursue it.

2. Find a Mentor

Find a mentor who has experience in the job you want and ask them questions, learn from them, and take their advice. There is nothing more valuable than an insider’s perspective.

3. Identify the Education and Training You Need

Find out what type of education or training you need to get the type of job you want. You might need to go back to school or take some training classes.

4. Identify the Costs of Any Necessary Education, Training, Licenses, and Certifications Required to Get the Job You Want

If you need to pursue education and training or get special licenses or certifications to land your new job, it’s highly likely that you’ll have to pay something out-of-pocket. Identify the costs and make sure you have enough money on hand.

5. Research the Salary for the Type of Job You Want to Ensure It Matches Your Needs

That new job might sound appealing, but the salary might not be what you want or need. Always research common salary ranges for the job you want using an online salary tool like the one from SalaryExpert.

6. Create a Budget to Determine Your Monthly Monetary Needs

As you’re transitioning from one job to another, you need to make sure that you’ll always have enough money to pay all of your monthly expenses. Create a monthly budget and stick to it.

7. Create a Six-Month Emergency Fund to Meet Your Monthly Budget

Based on your monthly budget, spend some time saving enough money to ensure you can pay all of your bills for six months. This will give you a cushion to make a job change with peace-of-mind.

8. Ensure You’ll Have Health Benefits During and After Your Job Transition

Don’t forget about your health benefits! Do your research and make sure you’ll always have the coverage you need when you change jobs.

9. Find Income Sources to Fund Your Career Change without Tapping into Retirement Funds

Don’t deplete your savings accounts and retirement fund accounts to pay for your job transition. Not only could you incur fees and face tax implications, but you’ll regret it years from now.

10. Have a Back-up Plan

Don’t burn bridges. You never know what might happen, so when you leave your current job, make sure you do so as professionally as possible. Provide two-weeks notice and stay positive even if you’d rather not.