Photo by Sora Shimazaki
In decades past, employees could expect to stay with the same employer for their entire career. But drastic changes in the economy and job market have lead to workers changing jobs more often. Although many job changes could be a red flag to some hiring managers, there are many upsides to changing jobs or starting a new career. These include higher income potential, greater room for growth, and a more interesting work environment. But the greatest benefit to changing jobs is the ability to adapt.
The Greatest Benefit of Changing Jobs
Technology changes industries, creates jobs and eliminates positions. In the ever changing job market, the ability to rapidly adapt and change is vital for a successful career. People who keep the same position at the same company for years risk losing touch with new developments in their field. They may also have trouble adjusting to changes and new environments.
Why Change Jobs?
Changing jobs every few years can be a great benefit if you want to expand your skillset and stay relevant in your industry. Many employers offer opportunities to advance and learn within the company. But if you feel stuck at your current job, it may be best to look for growth opportunities at a different organization.
When to Change Jobs
Rules about how long you should stick with a job have changed throughout the years. In the past, most employees felt obligated to stay with the same job for several years to prove their stability. However, there may be greater benefits to switching jobs sooner. If you feel you’ve reached a plateau, polish off your resume and start reaching out to your network. Many employers will appreciate someone who is willing to expand their knowledge while bringing their existing skillset to the table.
Changing jobs can also help you adapt to a career change, as you’ll be better equipped to quickly learn new skills. If you’re accustomed to picking up new skills, constantly learning, and changing environments then changing careers will be much less intimidating. Having a number of jobs can also expose you to different industries or careers to inspire your choice of career. And having a wider network as a result of different jobs allows you to reach out to more people for advice on pivoting.
Learning Never Stops
No matter how long you’ve been in an industry, learning should never stop. Changing jobs often forces you to brush up on skills you haven’t used in a while or learn completely new ones. A downside of staying with the same company is that you may get too comfortable and forget to keep up with industry trends and changes.
Flexibility = A Crucial Soft Skill
Soft skills are just as important as hard skills in any work environment. Communication is a major soft skill necessary for almost any job. But flexibility is an often overlooked soft skill. Whether you need to use a new software or work with a different team, being flexible will give you a leg up. Other soft skills, such as leadership and communication, are also likely to improve when changing jobs. Your ability to work with new people in new environments is a great asset.
If you’re contemplating a job or career change, consider the points above. If a change within the company is not possible and you feel stuck, start looking for growth opportunities elsewhere. Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting and rewarding on a professional and personal level.