(Before you lynch me, read tomorrow’s column about giving up when times are bad.)
Most revolutions happen as things are getting better. That happened in the Marxist revolutions and the revolts against the Communists. It happened in the American revolution. Things were getting better and people rebelled.
People seriously think of quitting their jobs as things get better. As life gets worse they are afraid to change. They want more stability, not more change. When life is bad, they tend to stay where they are. It’s easier. When life is getting better is when they think of change.
In reality, it really is time to change when life is easy and the economy or your company is soaring. That is when people start slacking. You are most likely to get noticed when you are the new guy on the block with something to prove.
In your current job push hard. If you aren’t getting raises and promotions, ask for them. If not now, when? But start looking. If you are pulling ahead as a superstar, others outside your company may be even more interested than those who know you well.
It is probably time to get a new job even if you are getting raises and promotions. Career advancement, pay raises and opportunities usually come more quickly to those willing to change jobs in good times. There is an immediate raise upon taking the new job. There are also faster raises for the first 3 years.
Yes, it is a fact. People who change jobs get raises and promotions faster for a few years. It may be that there is no history to judge against, only current need and performance. It is likely that you are “irreplaceable” at the position you have had for 5 years so they don’t want to promote you or give you a new opportunity. Whatever the reason, raises and promotions come faster for the first 3 years with a company. Someone already there and doing the same job will NOT get the same pay raises, promotions and opportunities you get by coming in fresh.
Another reason to leave when life is good is that when life is good, people are hiring. It is much easier to get into that company or job you always wanted. There is money to pay for your eager attitude. It is easier to find a job when you are employed than when you are laid off.
Life is good now for 90% of Americans. Think about changing. Position yourself for change even if you don’t make a jump to another company. When the economy eventually turns ugly for your company, those who have been making minimal progress will be laid off
Something to do today
Really assess where you are. Are you coasting? Have you relaxed?
Then start pushing hard in your current job. Set a personal goal and meet it. Get ahead now while others coast.
Give up and go elsewhere when things are bad