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Generation Xers: Should You Change Jobs?

That’s the question many of you face today. You and your colleagues are frustrated with endlessly long hours, small or non-existent raises, lower bonuses, frequent reorganizations, staff cuts, hiring freezes and a management mantra that people simply have to learn how to do more with less, an edict that insults an employee’s intelligence.

While you’re wondering what to do, the market is moving in your favor. Ten thousand baby boomers are retiring each day. Employee poachers are on the prowl, according to a new survey by Right Management. 64 percent of workers say another employer has attempted to woo them away in the past year. The May 3rd edition of the New York Times reported that “The United States economy created an estimated 165,000 jobs in April, averting fears of a sharp slowdown and pushing the unemployment rate to its lowest level since the end of 2008.”

These facts likely signal more job opportunities for you. If so, you need to ask yourself the question: Should you rush out the door or stay?

Here are my suggestions for what you should consider as you think about going or staying.

You should ‘stay’ if:

  • You feel engaged and challenged in what you do.
  • The organization benefits from your work.
  • You respect the culture and work environment.
  • Your compensation is fair.
  • Company policies, ethics and products/services align with your beliefs.
  • People treat each other with respect.
  • Your work makes you feel good.
  • Someone has become your mentor.
  • Your work life and your personal life are seamless.

You should ‘go’ if:

  • Job content is unexciting and you can’t envision any change.
  • You feel stuck and no one is there to help move you along or listen.
  • The work environment is draining.
  • Your work is not valued.
  • Your commute borders on insanity.
  • Your manager is abusive.
  • You don’t get up in the morning looking forward to your work day.
  • Demand exists elsewhere for your skills.
  • Change is exciting to you.

If you arrive at work and feel good about being there, stay; if you don’t, begin your search but don’t act hastily. Take a systematic approach and avoid switching just for money. Remember that not liking what you do, not being satisfied and not feeling appreciated are more detrimental to your future – personally and professionally — than not having had a raise in several years.

Move for content and contentment.