Do you need to constantly be looking for a new job?

Based on my blog from last week, the day it was published, i saw an article on BBC News about how people should always be looking for a new job.

In previous generations there was a pride in working for an organisation for decades /a longer period of time. But now, that sort of time in company can imply two things:

1. The organisation is so good that they are constantly giving you opportunities to develop and learn new skills

2. You are dated, perhaps in a niche role and do not have the necessary transferable skills to move or are too set in your ways to move “being too comfortable” to move.

I found it quite interesting to see this mindset play out in the backdrop of the current economic environment for what this means. When I’ve asked peers what they think and if they feel the same, there’s a few different thoughts on this:

  • I do not do this. I have commitment to the company I’m staying with and their investment in my future and training. I’ve been on lots of courses and really feel like I’m learning. I also like my colleagues. I’ve been in jobs where my colleagues were absolutely terrible, so the working environment is so important for me.
  • Yes, totally! Once you’re not learning anything new, you’re not being true or worthwhile to the organisation or to yourself! Learning always means moving on. You need to be always be learning in the first 2 decades of your career to ensure that you’re set up longer term.
  • No, i cannot. I need the stability with my job. Living in a constant state of panic /upheaval is just too much stress. This year has been tough enough without having to add in more stress of moving jobs constantly.
  • Loyalty is rarely rewarded by companies, so of course you need to be focused on you/your career. It’s being sensible about your longer term career.
  • It depends where you are in your career. It might be acceptable and needed when you first start your career but when you’re in a management role, you shouldn’t move on until you’ve got proven success/records of your achievements otherwise it can look negative.

There’s also the case of what happens to those employees who are left behind? The ones that are left to pick up the slack from those that have resigned. Have employers replaced them? Not in all cases, in fact, it’s become a thing of stress that those that are left behind, have got to pick up more work and a higher work and stress load. This in itself, is causing people to also look elsewhere and, so, eventually, the circle begins once more.

My opinion on this is that whilst it can be good to move jobs and get what you want /a better fit, you need to couple this with what else is important for you: work/life balance, does it fit in with what you need career wise? If you are not happy, could you discuss this with your organisation and look at ways you can improve the current way of working or what you can do differently? E.g. if flex working is important, then asking if it’s possible. If you’re wanting to have professional development, then looking at these options. An increase in salary isn’t everything. You need to make sure that whatever move you make, will work for your longer term aspirations and goals. What are you going to learn? What’s important?

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