December 22, 2016 BestCompaniesAZ

Four Events That Can Motivate You to Change Jobs (hint: one of them is right now)

By Lee Vikre | @LeeVikre

Job hunting isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, but many of us are doing it right now, either actively or by being open to discussions with recruiters. One study showed that 76 percent of workers in the US are open to new opportunities.

The major reasons people leave their jobs haven’t changed; a bad boss, limited opportunities, more money, or a shinier title. That’s not news to anyone. What might be more of a surprise is the timing – not just why, but also when people decide to change jobs.

A closer look at common milestones that cause an upswing in job searching can help us make better career decisions. These four events might propel your job search forward before you even realize you’re in the market.

Work anniversaries. The two-year work anniversary, especially, is a time for self-reflection, a time when people may be especially open to new opportunities. Even among employees of great companies, there is sometimes a mild dip in engagement and satisfaction that starts at about eighteen months, and often leads to a two-year career move. Savvy recruiters sometimes target top candidates just before their second anniversaries.

Birthdays. Milestone birthdays like 30, 35, 40, and 50 can prompt a job search, as people assess their careers and take action if they’re unhappy with the results. Long-standing goals and preconceived ideas about “where I should be by now” fuel birthday-related career moves.

Class reunions. Job hunting goes up 16% after class reunions. These people aren’t leaving their jobs because they’re unhappy at work, they’re responding to comparisons with classmates and their own unmet expectations. Brian Kropp of CEB, a Washington-based researcher, explains; “What really affects people is their sense of how they’re doing compared with other people in their peer group, or with where they thought they would be at a certain point in life.” Long after we thought we were done with high school competition, it seems we’re still motivated by peer pressure.

A new year. Right now we’re pondering the retrospectives of the events of 2016, while considering how we want 2017 to be different. Did you meet your career goals in 2016? Is your company still the place you can grow your best career? If not, a new job could be on your list for the new year.

So when you get the sense that you need to start looking around for a different job, examine your motives. There are many good reasons to make a career move. Competition with your college roommate over the fanciest title is not one of them, nor are the goals you set many years ago before you had a chance to learn what really makes you happy.

On the other hand, if your class reunion, birthday, anniversary or resolution helps you break free of the day-to-day inertia that’s been holding you back, good for you! Here are some top companies with great opportunities who would love to hear from you right now.

About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.