The New Year period is often one of reflection for many workers. Thoughts begin to focus on personal development as well as career progression for many employees and this is typically associated with increased levels of staff rotation.

The holiday break is an ideal time to reflect on work life, with people across all age brackets assessing their career growth prospects, work/life balance and interest in their current role. One should reflect on their job and think about ways of improvement, or see what your options and if another organisation  could better suit your needs.

Is it time to move on?
Knowing whether it is time to go or stay is an important question for any employee. Even if you’re happy with the security of your current position within your organization, if you are not satisfied at  work, this will consequently affect your productivity and have broader repercussions for satisfaction in your personal life as well.

Randstad’s employer branding research has found a number of causes for job dissatisfaction and reasons why employees decide to look for new career opportunities. These causes generally differ in importance depending on age.

Across all age brackets, a lack of career growth is the highest reported cause for employee dissatisfaction, with both job leavers and potential leavers saying it did or would contribute to their decision to look for a new job opportunity.

In addition, for those aged 18-24 years, lack of interest in their job is also an important factor, with about a third of leavers and potential leavers saying it is and would be a contributing factor to seeking new employment.

For those aged 25-44, a lack of career growth remained the most important contributing factor amongst leavers, but is the highest ranking response amongst potential leavers, with 43 per cent attributing it as a factor to look for a new career opportunity. Additionally, work/life balance also emerges as an important issue. For this age group it is the second most common response and is reported in one in four cases.

By the time workers reach the 45-65 age bracket, work/life balance issues have grown to be the equal highest reported response, tied with poor management, cited in a third of all cases.

Before you hand in your notice If you first speak with your direct manager and HR you may be able to identify different responsibilities which align more closely with your interests. This could mean a horizontal move to another team or the opportunity to provide support on a new project – fundamentally, it’s being able to experience something new while maintaining security in employment.

Balancing work and life commitments can become increasingly difficult later in life. Employers must be aware their employees face the intimidating prospect of securely maintaining a senior position while raising children, managing mortgages and dealing with relationship stress, as a few examples. If finding a balance becomes an issue, employees should be able to have a discussion with their boss to find ways to tackle this challenge – this could mean more flexibility at work.

If however, your employer is unable to be flexible or accommodating, it may be time to start looking for job opportunities elsewhere.

to help job seekers, Randstad has identified some signs that may indicate it is time to move on

how to tell if you need to change your job

  • Constantly frustrated, stressed and feel helpless? It’s time to get out of there
  • You lack motivation and interest in completing tasks – especially ones that you have done a million times before
  • Requested some additional tasks but knocked back? Time to assess how serious your employer is about you
  • Your employer does not encourage you to take additional courses or train you in new skills
  • No longer getting to work on time? Leaving work bang on 5.00pm? You’re either exceptionally efficient at your job or you no longer care if you can fit everything in your day
  • Starting tasks but not finishing them is a sign you want to keep trying but are disillusioned about the outcome and reward for all your hard work
  • Your employer has created a culture where asking for time off is akin to being lazy
  • Concerns outside of work are impacting your performance but your employer is unwilling to help you address these issues

features to look out for in an employer

  • Companies that tie your personal interest with their organizational goals
  • Quality training programs & individual development plans
  • Clear progression opportunities and career mapping
  • Job content that interests you – even if it requires a sideways move
  • Pleasant working atmosphere, good cultural fit and strong values
  • A business that has adopted the best technology to do your job
  • Good work-life balance and processes in place to protect it
  • Global/national career opportunities
  • Strong management team that is keen to upskill their staff 

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