Dear Sam: When do you know it’s the right time to leave your company/job? I have been really struggling with the decision to go to a bigger company where I would have more opportunities for advancement. I truly enjoy working at my current company and love what I do, but I feel guilty for even thinking about moving on only after 9 months. What should I consider before accepting this new job? – Kate
Dear Kate: While the allure of more opportunities can be tempting, quitting your job can be a scary prospect! There are many factors to consider and the decision will require you to do some honest self-examination. Before jumping ship, take time to make a list of pros and cons for each position to see if the reasons to stay outweigh the reasons to go. When comparing the two, consider not only the salary, but the work environment, flexibility, and benefits, in addition to the job responsibilities. Also, remember that any new opportunity worth considering should add value to your life in multiple areas, including improving your ability to be creative, to grow personally and professionally, and to enhance your network. Even though there could be some benefits to working for a larger company, consider the following as well:
First – are you certain there are no opportunities for advancement within your current company? If you’re feeling unfulfilled or underutilized in your role, perhaps you could have a conversation with your supervisor to see if you could take on some additional responsibility or if you could participate in some professional development trainings to grow your skill set. With some additional creative freedom, you may be able to increase your sense of achievement at work, and your added skills may even open some doors to a promotion.
If your current salary is your main pain point, it could be worth a shot to try and renegotiate your pay. Before discussing a pay increase with your supervisor, do some research about salary levels for your position in similar companies in the same region to determine if your salary is in line with your industry, job, and experience. Salary comparison websites such as www.Payscale.com and www.Salary.com can give you an idea of pay ranges for your job title or job duties based on geographic region. To compare salaries for job titles at your specific company, you can explore www.Glassdoor.com, and you can look at job listings on your company’s website for clues as to what someone hired in your role today would make. Important note: If your employer is unable to offer you more money, you could also try to renegotiate additional benefits, such as vacation time, paid parental leave, sick leave, flexible work time, telecommuting, and more.
If renegotiating your position or salary at your current company is not an option and you decide it is in your best interest to move on, it is important to leave on a good note so that you can maintain positive relationships with your colleagues and supervisors. When resigning, try to do so professionally and honorably by giving adequate notice (typically at least two weeks), by writing a formal resignation letter, and by offering to help during the transition.
Finally, while leaving after 9 months isn’t ideal, it should not affect your career trajectory in the long run. It is best not to have months listed on your resume (only years), so formatting your resume should not be an issue in the future. As long as you are comfortable talking about your reasons for leaving your current position in future interviews, I would not let your length of tenure impact your decision to stay or move on.
Even if you love your job, it’s pretty normal to question if you’d be better off somewhere else. Ultimately, the decision is a personal one based on your values, priorities, and circumstances. By doing your research and strategically evaluating both options, you will hopefully come to the decision that is best for you!