Job Satisfaction: When to stay or go

by Andrew Childerley

Job Satisfaction: When to stay or go

We often hear people say they’re feeling dissatisfied with their current job and considering a career move. In most cases, it’s down to whether you feel you have the right job satisfaction and whether you “stay or go” is typically determined by evaluating factors. Such as a new challenge, access to higher positions/promotion, enhanced salary, job fulfilment, work/life balance and recognition.

Many employees find themselves at crossroads between staying in their current role or leaving for something new. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide the best course of action for you……but let’s look at some of the key reasons you may choose to stay in your current positions, and the reasons why it might be the right time to move on.

One of the most important steps in evaluating your job satisfaction is to take the time to reflect on what you want out of your job. It is essential to understand what kind of job will make you happy.

  • Do you want to be part of a team where everyone contributes equally and is appreciated?
  • Do you want to take on more leadership roles and have the opportunity to grow in your position?
  • Do you need more flexibility to balance other commitments?

Knowing your goals and checking if they are being satisfied is key to understanding whether or not you are truly satisfied with your job.

Achieving a balance between your job and your personal life is essential for job satisfaction.

  • Do you have too much stress due to an overload of projects and responsibilities?
  • Are you given enough time for leisure activities and to spend time with family and friends?
  • Does your working day take too much of your energy, leaving you apathetic?

Analysing your work-life balance can help you identify the sources of stress and unhappiness, enabling you to make more informed decisions about whether to stay or move on.

Your work environment is another important consideration.

  • Are you surrounded by inspiring colleagues with lots of opportunities for career progression?
  • Is your manager supportive, or do you feel as if they are not adequately guiding you in the right direction?
  • Does the company encourage an atmosphere of productive collaboration or act more like a competition?

All these factors may heavily impact feelings of job satisfaction and should be taken into consideration against your decision to stay or move on.

Reasons to stay

When asked to determine what factors influence job satisfaction, the first thing many people point to is salary. While money plays a contributing factor in job satisfaction, there are other reasons to consider when deciding if it’s the right time for a career move.

One of the main reasons to stay in your current job is the increased job security. Building experience with the same company affords better job security as you become more familiar with systems, processes, and the company culture. Staying in the same role for a longer period of time can also increase the likelihood you have accrued a competitive salary and benefits through time served.

Familiarity with your role plays a major part in job satisfaction. When you have worked in the same role for a long period of time, you become more efficient, and you can improve not only your output but also your career knowledge.

It is highly beneficial to stay in the same role for several years as it gives you the opportunity to develop and hone your skills. A loyal career record with several years’ experience and knowledge at the same company, can make you a more attractive candidate to other companies in the future. Especially competitors who operate in the same spaces.

Reasons for a career move

Sometimes staying in a role can bring more challenges than benefits. In those cases, it is time to consider if the time is right to move onwards / upwards.

If your working conditions are mundane, unsatisfactory, or unsafe, it is highly beneficial to consider leaving to find a better job.

Unsatisfactory working conditions could include anything from:

  • Environment,
  • Culture,
  • Management team,
  • Targets
  • Working hours,
  • Flexibility,
  • Responsibilities,
  • Travel,
  • Career prospects
  • Job safety.

It is also important to assess your goals and ambitions for yourself and for your career.

  • Do you get the recognition you deserve?
  • Have you been overlooked for a promotion?
  • Have you reached a career ceiling with your current employer?
  • Do they share the same ambition as you?
  • Can your current employer support where you want your career to go. Or can you achieve more and faster through better opportunities elsewhere?

If your current role does not allow you to reach your goals, it may be time to look for a role that offers better prospects and opportunities to achieve them.

The last reason to consider leaving your job is if you are unhappy with your salary package and can improve this with a career move. This not only includes issues such as pay and bonuses but also flexibility, holiday allowance, perks, bonuses, pension plans and insurance packages.

Should I stay or should I go…..

Determining whether it’s the right time for a career move can be a difficult decision. Here are some considerations when assessing what is best for you.

  • Understand Your Values - Consider the values in which you operate. Are they aligned with your current role? This can help you determine if it is something you are truly passionate about.
  • Examine Your Career Goals - Assess your career goals, such as salary increase, career progression, flexibility and job fulfilment. Understanding these goals can help you assess how to best meet them.
  • Consider the Cost of Leaving - Evaluating the costs of leaving a job is important if you are considering looking for something new. Consider the time and money it would take to find something new, such as searching for a job, interviewing, and maybe even relocating. Similarly, those looking to stay need to evaluate the potential cost of staying, such as missed promotions, higher bonuses, further qualifications, training and education.
  • Evaluate Your Job Performance - Finally, assess your job performance. Consider your progress in your current role and what you have achieved so far. Are you employed in an environment where you can continue to develop and improve your performance?

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make and must be based on the specific factors influencing which are vital for your job satisfaction.

Stay when there is job security, familiarity, and opportunity for advancement, and go when working conditions, career goals and compensation are unsatisfying.

When researching job satisfaction and making the decision of whether to stay or go, it is important to remember to take into consideration the personal cost to each choice. Taking the time to assess your job satisfaction can bring clarity and direction when making the decision whether to stay at your current job or search for something else.

If you decide to take the leap, a professional recruiter may be a good place to start. An industry specialist has experience dealing with candidates in your situation and will guide you through the process. Due to their networks and industry knowledge, they can open doors to opportunities you may not have considered. Supporting you throughout the process to give you the best chance of securing your dream move.

If you would like to discuss your next career move with one of our local industry specialists, why not drop us a line on 01223 845333, or contact us via our website.


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