The days of randomly applying to job postings that may or may not be relevant to your skill set and education are long over after you land your first real job out of college. Chances are, you settle into the flow of paying bills, student debts, and possibly develop a love or social life. Despite the hustle and bustle of your regularly scheduled program, you decide that you want more out of your life and want to advance your career.
Moving to the next step in your career can be a challenge; not just because of the full-time job and job-search commitment you must balance, but the ultimate decision itself. Choosing a job should not be treated like a game of Russian roulette once you reach a certain position in your life. Sometimes you get into a work situation that does not satisfy you or motivate you. It can be tempting to throw in the towel and move on – In fact, the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey expects at least 91 percent of millennials to have 15-20 jobs over the course of their careers.
“What’s the big deal?” you may argue. Naturally, if frequent job hopping is the new norm then running to a new opportunity should not be a problem, right? Wrong.
Think long and hard about your goals. Whether you desire to get married, have children, go to graduate school or become a homeowner in the near future, switching jobs must be a carefully planned and deliberate decision to ensure a not only a victory for your career, but a peace of mind.
Here are three questions that will help you organize your thoughts before you make the next big (yes big) decision that can affect your life.
- Is my next move conducive to my goals?
Ask yourself why you originally sought your current position and determine if you are accomplishing everything you set out to do in your tenure. Carefully measure the benefits of your current position and determine what you hope to gain in a new position. If this is your first time around the block, consider staying if it helps you maintain stability to get to your other goals.
- Will this next move distract me from my secondary goals?
If you have plans outside of your career that you aspire to do, it is essential to know if there will be time on your side. Most of the time, when individuals seek a new job, they are aiming to land a bigger and better position. Bigger and better is good; however, it is important that you able to maintain your time so that you are not thwarting the opportunity to complete other goals that are pertinent to you.
- How will this next move affect others around me?
If you are in a serious relationship or married, a caregiver or a parent, changing a job involves all parties that affect your life. If your next career move impacts your income, location, free time, or attitude, then it is important that you include those around you that can be affected in your decision. You want to ensure that your loved ones are considered in your decision because when others are involved, the decision making goes beyond your wants. If you are single, with no pending obligations from a significant other or child, be considerate of the future if you want those things. Don’t choose employment that will cause you to be a work-a-holic if you have strong plans to have family in the next three years or know that you may have a family member that needs help in the future.
Choosing your next job is much more than a financial or rescue decision; it is a life decision. Be sure to consider all options before you make your next career move and be confident in your choice. Although you may be expected to have 19 more jobs to go in your life time, you have to strategically get through them – one job at a time.
Whitney L. White believes in upward career mobility; however, she hopes that millennials considers that job-hopping is not always the answer – especially when long-term goals are involved. You can follow her on Twitter @TheWriteGirl_ to gain more millennial career tips.