When NOT to Change Jobs!
By Admin

October 14, 2010

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It is really amusing to read all the articles on HOW to change jobs. 95% of them seem to encourage a person to go ahead and change jobs as long as you do X on your resume and Y in interviewing. Everyone seems to be an expert in job search (recruiters, unemployed HR, unemployed Managers, Consultants, Media, etc). Few articles are written on WHY NOT to change. Here is one:

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Don’t look to change jobs because you have a personal issue with a boss or coworker. Most of the time the personal issue is fleeting. Figure out how to fix the problem. That is what you will say in an interview isn’t it? You are a problem-solver?

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Beginning on the path to having personal issues direct your career is a first step to having your personal issues become your career problems. Are your personal issues with coworkers their fault or yours?

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Don’t look to change jobs because you are NOT DOING YOUR JOB WELL. Perhaps you have slacked off, or made mistakes, or been a personal issue to other people. Running away will not help your career at all. Someone in the future will discover your bad performance, and potentially be a real block when you are doing a good job (references when you are looking to change jobs). SOLVE THE PROBLEM FIRST. Perform. Then if there are other true issues, make a career move.

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Don’t look to change jobs because the grass looks greener. Emotional reactions to “greener grass” can lead to buyer’s remorse somewhere in the future. Career and job changes are not weekend dates. Careers and jobs are your livelihood and how yourself will judge you.

Don’t look to change jobs because you need more money. Money should be a reward for performance. It is simply asinine to voluntarily increase your monthly expenses (New car, house, children) and then to think: “I’m worth more now because I need more”. The USA may be a semi-welfare state, but you should not get caught up in that foolishness. Increase your expenses AFTER you are sure you can afford them. Don’t expect to use “I need” as a justification past your 5th birthday. It will never stop.

Don’t change jobs just because friends have. It is amazing to me as a recruiter how many YOUNG people do this. In a crowd of 10 “friends”, one changes jobs, then two, then six. This is your life man, not a spring break hotel.

Don’t change jobs because you are bored (for a brief time). Being bored (duties that are not challenging) is part of working. Try to make the job more challenging by asking for more difficult work, more challenging assignments, or by simply trying to be a 12 on a 10-scale in your job performance (you may get noticed for a promotion).

Last for today: DON’T change jobs on a rainy day. I have it on great authority that the gloom will stick to your pants like gum to a shoe.

BEFORE you change jobs, sit with a trusted friend and objectively analyze the causes of your motivations. Make sure that those are positive motivations rather than emotional or soap opera based.


  1. This is spot-on, Bob. Too many people want more money because they have more bills – that’s ridiculous! I just love it when folks like you write plain old common sense stuff.

  2. Thanks Sweetie! Yep. Too many people think: “spend money I don’t have, I’ll just get another job to pay for it!!!!”

  3. Frank S

    Ok, so what does one do when they want to make the crossing of the river going from blue collar to white collar? I have been a skilled trades electrician for 10+ years. During that time I have changed employers 3 times (union and non) each accelerating in pay and benefits (but not hours/vaca etc). I have pushed myself to attain my Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering (’08) and have been hunting the boards for that job I think I fit into, but it seems like it’s not there? Employers want design experience, software, leadership, supervisory skills – How can I translate a career as a guy on the floor to a guy that wants to lead the guys on the floor? I’ve had interviews for some small and large companies, but it seems like I don’t have the bait they want/like to hire someone of my experience/education.?

    • Frank: No easy answer, especially in this recession. And congrats on getting thru the degree process. The idea that getting a degree (however) will solve all career goal issues is not 100%. You are still looked at as a “Trainee” for many jobs. BUT, it would seem that 10+ yrs of electrical experience + degree + desire, would put you in a good situation. If you want to talk about it, feel free to call me at 216.823.5900. Bob Schepens