Changing jobs has become something of a trend over the past decade. Younger workers are making career jumps in large numbers and older workers have found themselves going back to school in order to enter new job fields.
According to a great infographic at Notre Dame College, it seems that Millennials and many Gen-Xer's believe that they are a valuable commodity and that companies are lucky to have them as employees. As such, they feel that switching jobs and even fields helps their career move forward. This view is extremely different from the Baby-Boomer ideal of working for the same company for most of their careers.
No matter which generation you belong to, each group shares the common goal of working for a company that offers a great work-life balance, good compensation, a positive culture, job security and interesting work. Finding all of those things in just one employer is extremely difficult. Additionally, as employees grow older and their life situations change, their motivations change. For example, a recent college grad might not worry about finding a great work-life balance or excellent compensation as much as someone who has a young family. For them, interesting work and a positive corporate culture might be more important. As people grow and their needs change, they find that changing jobs is the best way to fill those new needs.
When changing jobs, no matter what your needs are, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Have realistic expectations: Changing jobs can be difficult. Try to foresee obstacles in your path so that you can overcome them. It's also important to know what you need from your next employer and use that information during your job search, so that you can find the right job.
Always network: Even if you don't plan on leaving your current job any time soon, continue to network. By far, the single most important tool that any job seeker can have is a strong professional network. I'm sure that you've heard the saying that it's not what you know – it's who you know.
Be financially prepared: Changing jobs might mean taking a cut in pay. Also, you may end up being without a job for several months. Ask yourself if you can afford it before you decide to look for a new job. It's a good idea to start putting money away now so that you can have a nest egg for your career change.
Changing jobs can be tough, but it can also be exciting. If you've gotten burned out at your current or last job, a new career field can give you a new outlook, help you get inspired and provide you with the change you need.
Have you recently changed jobs or are you preparing to make a switch? What did you learn from the experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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