How often should you change jobs psychology?

Is it true that you have to change jobs every 5 years? Why am I hesitant to quit? Will I be competitive? Answers the vocational counselor

Is it true that you have to change jobs every five years? Why don’t I dare quit my job? And I will be competitive.

Together with a psychologist, occupational consultant, graduate student at the French National Institute for Work Research and Career Guidance Olga Molochko figured out whether to change jobs every three to five years, how to adequately assess their competence and competitiveness, and when to turn to coaches, career counselors and psychologists.

Together with a psychologist, occupational consultant, graduate student at the French National Institute for Work Research and Career Guidance Olga Molochko figured out whether to change jobs every three to five years, how to adequately assess their competence and competitiveness, and when to turn to coaches, career counselors and psychologists.

Is it really necessary to change jobs every three to five years?

Olga Molochko

– There is no universal answer to this question, Olga says. – It all depends on the situation: who needs to change it, for what reasons, and why? And also – from your profession. There are some professions and even whole market segments where staying in one place for five years without changing anything is too long. For example, if we look at the profiles of IT professionals on LinkedIn, we see that they can change jobs even more often.

And this is not surprising: technology is rapidly evolving (products, versions of applications – and so on); accordingly, experience and skills quickly become obsolete, they need to be constantly improved. Together with the project-based work format and consistently high demand for these specialists, relatively frequent job changes are perceived as the norm.

At the same time, a similar rhythm of moving from one place to another, for example, in the resume of the CFO would definitely alert the recruiters. Most likely, such a specialist will not even be invited for an interview.

So when answering the question of whether you should change your job now, you need to analyze and compare a number of factors. Internal – your aspirations, interests, skills, strengths and weaknesses, values. And external – the situation on the labor market, possible trajectories of development in the chosen profession, and so on.

In modern vocational guidance more and more often speak about such skill as vocational competence. It is the ability, on the one hand, to collect and analyze information about professions, labor markets and education – and, on the other hand, to know and understand oneself in order to make correct professional and career decisions. Helping to develop this skill is one of the main goals of career guidance.

What are the most common reasons for getting fired?

– People get fired for a variety of reasons. According to the research, conducted by the service for job search and personnel selection, 76% of respondents, wishing to change their place of work, expect a new job with higher wages. Other expectations include a better work-life balance, career growth, new opportunities for development and training, and more interesting functions.

According to the data of the international staffing holding ANCOR, respondents also most often cite the lack of career prospects and dissatisfaction with salary as the main reasons for changing jobs.

But, again, everything is very individual. In addition, there are “official”, frequently cited reasons and those that are unlikely to be told. For example, an unsatisfactory relationship with management or experiencing an ethical conflict: when a person’s values have changed and they can no longer work in the old corporate culture, performing the previous functions. There can also be a loss of meaning in the job.

Why are people afraid to change jobs if they’re not doing well?

– Changing jobs means making a choice, all of whose consequences we never know in advance. Even if we expect it to be a change for the better (more interesting tasks, more appropriate leadership, and so on), it remains just an assumption.

There is always uncertainty behind the choice of a new job. And that, of course, can be a hindrance. It is no coincidence that in the rating of stressful situations, leaving your previous job is in the top ten.

The state of stress can be defined as a reaction of the body and psyche, caused by the need to adapt to new conditions. Therefore, any “positive” changes in our perception (a new job, the birth of a child, moving to a new house) are just as stressful as the “negative” ones. It is not so important for our psyche whether it is positive or negative stress, it is the intensity of the experience that makes an event “stressful.

So the current job may not be satisfying, but at least it’s something we know. And in this sense, dissatisfaction with the current situation may be more easily tolerated than existential fear of uncertainty. The danger is that such a situation can drag on for years. It is important to allow yourself to see this fear after all.

How do you adequately assess your competencies and competitiveness?

– In the career counseling marketplace, there is a career check-up service. It involves a comprehensive, turnkey assessment of you as a professional. Experienced career consultants will analyze and evaluate your resume, self-presentation, digital footprint, professional skills (the latter with the help of outside experts in your industry) and, if necessary, even collect recommendations.

Definitely a useful service, but it’s not suitable for everyone: rather, experienced managers with a career history and a high level of income. The good news is that you don’t have to wait until you grow up to be a high-paying manager to learn how to do this career check-up yourself.

Remember at the beginning we said it was important to develop a skill to assess career competence, learn how to navigate the job market and understand yourself? Let me now explain how to do this.

First, you need to make it a habit to regularly ask yourself:

  • What stage of my career am I at?
  • Am I satisfied with everything?
  • What am I interested in?
  • Do I have all the competencies I need?
  • How can I develop the ones I am lacking?
  • Am I developing according to my values?

I emphasize: ask yourself these questions not when it is already time to change your job, but make self-analysis your habit.

Second, begin to study and analyze your professional field. The modern professional needs to keep his or her hand on the pulse:

  • Constantly observe the marketplace.
  • Participate in industry events and conferences.
  • Read professional periodicals.
  • Keep track of inspiring careers.
  • Study the statistics on salaries.

As a former recruiter, I can tell you that it is good practice for high-level managers to be in contact with HR people, and not necessarily to look for work in the short term. Managers can meet with recruiters just to talk, to understand what’s going on with the job market. And when a job change is needed, contacts are already in place.

Reaching out to professionals who can be sources of useful information (recruiters, career counselors, market experts) is a method worth adopting.

And then, based on a comprehensive assessment of the market, your industry and profession, an understanding of yourself, it will be possible to say with greater certainty how and where it is best to apply yourself, where it will be interesting and, in particular, whether it is worth changing jobs now.

It is better to start such analysis not at the moment when you are fed up with your job and want to change it, but long before that. A career consultant, a coach, a psychologist and a career counselor can help you conduct such an analysis more qualitatively.

And what is the difference between coaches, career counselors and psychologists? In what situation should one go to each of these specialists?

– The job of any coach (whether career or athletic) is to help you achieve your goals in the most effective and fastest way possible. It is for developing the skill to move toward a goal more effectively that one turns to a coach.

A career counselor has in-depth expertise in the job market in a particular industry. In my opinion, you should go to a professional who has significant experience in internal HR or external recruiting in the segment you are interested in.

A professional psychologist will be useful if professional and career development is hindered by psychological difficulties: ignorance of your strengths, aptitudes, ineffective patterns of behavior, existential dilemmas.

Previously, the need for career guidance arose primarily at the initial stage of the professional path – when choosing a future profession and educational institution. But now vocational guidance is needed throughout life. Today, we can change several times during our lives, not only the place of work, but also the profession and the field of activity. You can completely reinvent your career all over again.

That’s why you need to understand what you need a specialist for. If you want to get into a specific company and do not know how to do it better, or want to learn how to present yourself advantageously and pass the interview more effectively, then you can go to a coach or a career consultant who knows the market. And if you want to understand yourself and understand how to live a more satisfying professional life, you need to go to a psychologist.

And finally: useful literature on the topic of changing jobs and professional fulfillment

– I want to recommend a book on one of the most difficult types of job changes – transition to another profession. The book, “Finding Yourself. Extraordinary Strategies that Change Careers” is written by Erminnia Ibarra, professor of organizational behavior .

I was struck in my time by its lightness, style of presentation, and at the same time the scientific validity of the data. It will be of particular interest to established professionals who want to make a dramatic change in their careers.

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Why you should not be afraid to change your job

It used to be that a person who was engaged in constant learning and self-development was called the “eternal student. The transition to telecommuting, new formats of education, and the realization that it is possible to work more for yourself instead of giving two to four hours a day to commute to and from work – all this leads to the fact that the demand for a career change is growing every year.

Not so long ago, it took an average of five years to make a quality transition from one profession to another. Now, thanks to available training and retraining, that transition can be made much faster. Plus, you can move to different positions within the same company. In general, today there are no professions that you could learn once and work in them all your life. This is due to the constant evolution of technology as well as people and companies.

Nowadays, you don’t have to spend a lot of time to make a career turnaround and become a sought-after junior in a new profession. I have had time to work as an expert criminalist, psychologist and Internet marketer: five years ago I completely changed my career track, quit my job and entered the path of a novice marketer.

Now I actively realize myself as a psychologist: I carry out consultations with those who change the sphere of activity and adapt to a new place of work, including those who want promotion and development in their industry. I work as a mentor on the “Internet Marketer” course from Yandex.Praktikum, and I lead a Telegram channel about psychology.

In this post I will touch on several topics at once. Let’s talk about the career crisis after 30: what to do if you feel stuck. Let’s discuss proper goal setting for self-development, without which there is no way. Evaluate the role of mentors for those who need it. Also, under the cat – about proper positioning yourself at work and about sharing your attention.

Personal experience

At the age of 30, my career was in crisis. I had work experience in only one sphere, and in my labor book there was only one record – “service in the bodies of internal affairs”. My career was shaping up positively: moving to Moscow, promotion, but the joy was becoming less and less with each passing day.

In 2016 I purposely took a business trip for three months in order to at least somehow reload and clear my head, and also began to actively engage in marathon running. I wanted to make it to the end of the year, take a long vacation and start my duties with renewed vigor, but at some point I realized that I had hit a wall, that I was breaking myself, that I was getting up every day through force and literally forcing myself to go to work. In these situations, either you break the wall (if that makes sense), or the wall proves to be stronger than you (which is more often).

If you’ve caught yourself in this state, changing activities or jobs may be the right thing to do. People often push themselves to the last minute, waiting for change to happen, just a little more patience (and then more patience), but it doesn’t happen, they postpone their decision, and so on in a circle.

What he really lacks is determination. Because it requires a certain effort. To go with the flow, you don’t have to do anything, and to develop and be successful, you have to constantly find resources and exert yourself. That is the only way to move forward. There is an apt phrase for this: “To live is to make an effort.

But often something holds us back. In psychology it is called “limiting beliefs” and can be expressed by pictures or voices of loved ones: “You can’t do it / you won’t make it / now is not the time / be patient / wait”, etc. You can go to a psychologist and work through it, but the most effective way to deal with fears is to go along with them.

If you have made a decision inside yourself, you have to follow it. So it is important to spend your inner resources on its formation.

When is it worth changing jobs, and when not yet?

Figuring out whether to leave your job or not is simple. The most important thing is that the change of activity and profession was not like running away from yourself. Escape is a desire to go somewhere here and now, just to drop everything and change. Transition is a conscious choice, with plans and goals. And the subjective reaction to what is happening will be different. Running away is a spontaneous reaction, almost unconscious; transition is a feeling that you have become a step higher, that you want to develop consciously.

Because if you run away from the situation now, it is bound to happen again, perhaps on another level. You need to solve all of the existential issues here and now, and then you can calmly change something in your life.

You can read posts as much as you like about how the main purpose of work is to participate in Challenges, projects on a federal scale and so on. But if you, above all, are simply uncomfortable, uncomfortable, and communication with colleagues and superiors – it is non-stop stress and lack of constructiveness, the challenge here is just to survive and not go crazy.

The most effective way in such a case – to give up a little work and shift attention to themselves. Yes, yes, to yourself, you = priority, that’s normal. Because burnout is a state where we forget about ourselves, our desires, our interests, our hobbies. It’s worth a little less involvement in the work process and switching it over to normal human pleasures. After all, this is your life, and work and money are the way to live it qualitatively.

You shouldn’t change jobs if you don’t have a feeling that you’ve taken it all in, that there are unfinished business, projects, that you are generally comfortable in this atmosphere and surroundings, that there are areas for growth and development.

In general, you need to leave when all the opportunities to work with pleasure at your current place of work have been exhausted. If you clearly understand that you can not cope with the tasks or they do not bring you anything at all, except a waste of time, if communication with colleagues – it’s strained smiles and constant shifting of responsibility, if attempts to discuss the situation with management have not born fruit, you know: this is the moment, pulling is not worth it.

Answer yourself one more important question: do you want to change the job, or change the type of activity and your own specialization? A person may be satisfied with the list of job duties, he can enjoy fulfilling them, continuing to pump up his own skills, but it can be strongly demotivated by the company itself: the conditions, wages, team. Or, conversely, you may be completely satisfied with the company, but you do not like the responsibilities – so it is good to just move to another position within the company.

It often happens when people think they are completely burned out professionally, and then decide to change the profession altogether. And it turns out that they just got fed up with a particular company, and in another they would be fine if they were doing the same thing.

To understand where they want to go

There is one fairly simple but effective exercise. Compose a brief description of your outlook on work, use about 250 words – that’s less than a printed page.

Here’s my example: I love interacting with people and I genuinely enjoy making new acquaintances. I also enjoy helping people become better people, learn about themselves, and have new experiences. That’s why I chose the path of PR and marketing for myself, because communication is at the heart of this work. I also like helping professions, and I want to be useful to people, help them solve problems and overcome difficulties. That’s why I also do mentoring and psychological counseling.

Use an analogy to make the same description, only of your outlook on life. Describe your dream job, such as becoming a big director in IT, as well as your ideal life: say, living where you are comfortable and working without fuss.

Now juxtapose them and ask yourself some questions: “Where are your views the same? Where do they differ? Does one flow from the other?” If the requests don’t match very much, it’s time to clarify your path: get a job at a company, upgrade your skills, start saving for a house, and so on. The main thing is to understand why exactly now, at your current point, you are unhappy, what your motivation is to go and change all that.

For example, you wrote that you want to help people, but you work as a salesperson, or vice versa, you like constant communication with people, but you work as an accountant. This basic approach allows you to understand the vector and choose the direction of the movement.

Internally, we almost always know what we would like to do, although we don’t always admit it to ourselves. But practically any person can say how he sees himself in a few years. And I’m not talking here about the much-talked-about “How do you see yourself in our company in five years?

It is important to determine the profession and the function you want to develop, and the industry and the field can always change. The more so now many spheres and segments of business very closely overlap. Especially in IT. If, for example, you choose the profession of “internet marketer”, you can work in almost any industry: IT, FMCG (FMCG), the banking sector – internet marketing is the same everywhere, give or take. With the same profession you can become an account manager, a classic marketer and even start your own business.

You don’t have to be afraid to make a change. Part of choosing a job is luck, but it comes when some action is taken. I went for an interview four times to one company, I really wanted to get there, I came from different directions and for different positions, but in the end I was not taken to it, but was taken to a competing company on completely different, more favorable conditions. Leave room for positive accomplishments.

Set a goal

So you decided to change your life. Now inside there should always be a formulated goal that you strive for. Because sometimes you will be thrown back, doubts and fears will come, “Am I doing it right? In those moments, a clear inner focus will keep you on track.

I remember lying curled up on the bed and not wanting to do anything, but knowing that I just had to take one small step, then one more. I had a clear picture in my head of my life in five years, which I envisioned. And I can say that this approach works. My picture of 2016 is 95% the same as the one I have now realized in my life.

When you make a long-range plan, you need to record important intermediate cutoffs, such as writing your resume, getting an interview, getting the necessary experience in a position. This is essentially your compass, by which you can always compare whether you are moving in the right direction.

You will be tossed around like on waves, because some things will succeed easily and throw you to the top, progress can be very fast, and at some point it will feel like you are standing still.

My little advice: to cope with anxiety, do not be afraid to turn to various professionals – career counselors to help compose and design a resume, mentors and mentors to help sort out problem areas, psychologists to simulate and work out anxiety situations.

Learn to build a personal brand.

You have to understand that when you change careers, you are entering a market where there are already many professionals with more experience than yours. That’s fine. You just have to work hard to make a name for yourself in a new field. Your most important competitive advantages are the fact that you come from a different industry and your life experience. The latter plays a key role. Being able to adapt your past experience to the new reality gives multiples of growth, especially if you come into a young field where you are over 30 and the average age of professionals is 25.

In my work I practice an 80/20 approach. But it’s not about performance, it’s about focus. I devote most of it to work tasks, and the second – to gain experience, which I lack. I look for niches in which I can develop.

It’s important to be proactive – high involvement in work yields positive results. You have to constantly ask yourself: “What else can I do? What experience am I lacking? Where can I get it?” Do projects that you can be proud of, that you can put in your portfolio. Your activity is directly proportional to your position and salary.

Another competitive advantage is being able to position yourself at work and showcase your performance. Don’t sit back in the trenches: do a small project – tell colleagues, speak at a meeting, just throw a small case of a few sentences into the chat room, discuss it with the guys from the related department, ask for advice – perhaps something can be improved or the effect increased.

This way you can build up working acquaintances and at the same time establish yourself in a positive way for the employer. Just remember that if you don’t share the results of your work, no one saw it, and no one but you knows that it was even done.

Get the knowledge and skills you need

Five years ago, when I was changing careers, there were virtually no comprehensive courses and programs that would allow you to learn a new profession online. Back then, there wasn’t yet a full-fledged institute to support people who wanted to make a difference in their line of work. Now the situation is completely different: there are many books, online courses, video lessons, including both paid and posted in the public domain. The main thing is to decide exactly what you want, and to allocate the necessary amount of time to achieve the goal.

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