On average, proactive job hoppers make more money and gain more career satisfaction. Loyal employees tend to be less valued than outside unknowns.

Since the majority of people are unsatisfied in their jobs, the odds are that YOU should have a new year’s resolution like “Get a new job.” This article is intended to get you headed down a constructive path toward future happiness and career satisfaction.

The best time to look for a job is when you are employed and doing well in your current role. The next best time to look for a job is when you are employed and not doing well. Consider the classic examples of two people who recently contacted me………

Last week, a Group President for a Fortune500 was referred to me because he has a new CEO boss and senses that things may be changing for the worse. This president anticipates that the management direction will not be a good fit for him and he is motivated to get started on a highly confidential job search.

The week before last, a B2B salesperson at a small employer was referred to me because he had taken a commission-only job a few months earlier and saw no opportunity to earn what he needs to support his family. It was evident to the salesman that he was in the wrong job and hence he wants to jump ship ASAP.

It’s a new year and you have lots of options. Tens of thousands of people are changing jobs every day. If you find yourself in any of the following job situations, I want to encourage you to consider quitting your job:

– I don’t enjoy the work I do

– I am underpaid or underappreciated for what I contribute

– I don’t like the people or culture

– I see no opportunity for development or advancement

– My boss is not supportive or is incompetent

– My employer is losing ground or heading in the wrong direction

For these situations, it is likely you can benefit from taking POSITIVE STRATEGIC actions. I emphasize “positive” because it is important you not act negatively or destructively and emphasize “strategic” because these are serious matters that require pre-planning and effective execution.

Before jumping to the conclusion that you must quit your employer to improve your situation, ask yourself:

– Have I stood up for myself in a professional manner?

– Have I asked directly for what I want changed?

– Have I attempted to change jobs/bosses/departments in a politically advisable manner?

– Have I developed myself and my abilities to increase my value?

If you have not considered such options for improving your current circumstances within your employer, then I encourage you to develop a strategy and to your new year’s resolutions list. Here’s an example: “I will get at 10% salary increase by developing an effective strategy and asking for it.”

On the other hand, if you have considered feasible ways for improving your current job or changing jobs within your current employer and taken reasonable action with no results, then it may be time to change employers. Most of the time, I would advise you to do as the president and salesman intend to do — I describe it in Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!) as giving your employer “your two week notice pink slip” after finding a better job. In other words quit. But, quit on your own terms on your own timetable. Check out my 37 previous blog posts for ideas on how to conduct an effective job search.

Good luck and happy hunting in the new year!

Richard Kirby, CMC, Atlanta Premier Executive Career Consultant

Atlanta executive career consultant Richard Kirby of Executive Impact has over 12 years of successful experience mentoring professionals and executives through successful career transitions and life-changing job searches. His methodical career change programs start with career assessment testing, followed by career options identification and analysis that defines short-term and long-term career goals. Testing and analysis form the foundation for subsequent resume writing, career marketing plans, networking strategies, and job interview enhancements. To learn key strategies for proper career planning, grab a free excerpt from his eBook Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!)

Richard Kirby – who has written posts on Executive Impact.

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