It is important to step back and decide whether a change is a wise move now
What to remember when considering a job move
Despite an overall slowdown in online hiring reported in the Monster Employment Index (MEI) over the past few months, seemingly a large proportion of the GCC workforce is looking to change jobs this year.
According to a recent poll by MonsterGulf.com, 86 per cent of GCC respondents said they are thinking about a new job in 2017 because they are not happy with their current job. This compares with only six percent who love their jobs and are not looking to move, and eight percent unsure.
There are, of course, pros and cons of job change. On the plus side, a new role may offer more competitive compensation, a higher position and a new environment but the downside might include slower long-term career advancement the staff member being perceived as disloyal, and they may have been swayed by false perceptions of the new working environment.
The grass always looks greener on the other side, especially through difficult periods at work, but as tempting as it may seem, before accepting the next job offer presented, it is important to step back and decide whether a job change is a wise move now.
Many employees look to change jobs for a higher salary without looking at average salaries for their level of experience and skills. This often leads to candidates accepting a higher paying position even though it might still be below the industry standards. Benchmarking a current salary with industry trends will give employees a better understanding of where they stand and what they should expect.
Other employees focus on the salary figure of a compensation package and fail to recognise the value of other benefits such as the quality of the medical insurance offered, housing allowances, schooling fees, training programmes and corporate discounts.
Employees need to consider what elements of a compensation package will affect their overall financial well being. For employees with young children, for instance, schooling fees may be a key component as private education is relatively expensive in the GCC, while for single employees, gym memberships or corporate discounts might appear to be more attractive.
While a high-paying job might seem like the ultimate goal, it really is not everything to most people. Being comfortable with the working environment of a company can affect the quality of life outside of work. Some companies expect employees to work longer hours or take work home, which will impact work-life balance by limiting leisure hours that would otherwise be spent with family, friends, on hobbies or relaxation. While this might not seem to be an obstacle for some career-oriented employees, having a healthy work-life balance is an essential element for productivity and general well-being.
Other factors that can affect working environment include the corporate culture, colleague compatibility, and office location and accessibility.
Before accepting a new offer, it is advisable to carefully examine the working environment of the new company compared to the current employer by speaking with current or former employees and raising any questions with a potential employer. Employees should also evaluate whether their current working environment is likely to improve. Many employees leave their employers during difficult times and miss opportunities that could have been presented by sticking it out during corporate challenges.
Long-term career objectives
Having a clear long-term career goal will help to determine whether it is worth looking into a new job. Although it may be tempting to accept a higher-paying position in a new role, it is important to look exclusively at jobs that will help to take employees closer to their career goals.
Often when changing the industry of work, employees need to start at a lower level to get a better understanding and more experience in the new line of work. If this will take employees closer to a career goal then it may be worth it. However, moving quickly between industries will make it difficult for employees to establish themselves in the field and move up organisational levels.
Switching jobs frequently may also affect employability at a later stage as many recruiters will not consider candidates that fail to demonstrate company loyalty on fears that candidates will leave the company after a short space of time. This is because recruitment is an investment and can be costly. It is also difficult to manage workflow with a high employee turnover rate.
Is changing jobs a good idea?
Employees need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of changing jobs. If an employee has been with a company for a long period and has made little or no progress, then maybe a change in job will offer the boost in his or her professional level that is needed to get closer to long-term career goals. A change in job may also be required to get into an area of work that is of interest to an employee as enjoying that type of work will affect productivity and satisfaction levels.
On the other hand, if the current position is within your area of interest and offers career development opportunities, an adequate work-life balance, and a salary that is in line with industry trends, it may be better in the long run to stay put even through challenging times, and despite other seemingly attractive job offers. Current and future employers will appreciate the loyalty demonstrated through long tenures and employees will be better able to fine-tune professional skills.
Sanjay Modi is the managing director for APAC and the Middle East at the recruiter Monster.com