Taking the Plunge: Why Now is a Great Time to Explore New Jobs
By: Jessica Sanfratello and Ben Weiss
Have you ever been sitting in your cubicle, counting down the hours until the weekend and questioning what possessed you to accept your job in the first place? If you have, you’re not alone. While there are as many reasons for employment dissatisfaction as there are people, according to Deloitte’s Shift Index, 80% of Americans are unhappy with their current job.
I. Who's affected and is anybody doing anything about it?
This kind of dissatisfaction is prevalent across virtually every professional industry one could imagine. Interestingly, while one might assume the booming tech industry is immune from job dissatisfaction, a 2011 study of hundreds of thousands of employees undertaken by job information hub CareerBliss found otherwise. Cataloguing the results of the study in the list of “Top 10 Most Hated Jobs,” the researchers determined that Director of Information Technology was the number one most hated job in the country, while nearly half of the other jobs on the list pertained to technology.
Another analysis of more than 300 IT professionals released by Randstad Technologies entitled “IT Employees: Engaged, Committed but Likely to Consider Leaving,” found that although many IT employees are stimulated by their daily tasks, 53% of the respondents still expressed plans to explore other career options.
This type of career mobilization can be found in a variety of other research as well. For example, talent management firm 24 Seven Inc.’s Job Satisfaction and Salary Survey – which polled more than 5,000 creative professionals in the U.S., including many in high tech - found that 40% of the respondents planned on taking their talents to an entirely new company.
Interest in new careers is also not confined to lower-level positions. For example, a 2011 ExecuNet study of more than 200 CFOs revealed that 56% of the polled CFOs are looking to make a career move, with 32% stating they were currently in a job transition and 24% stating they were employed and actively in the job search. Also, 76% of the respondents created current online profiles while 63% updated their resume in the last three months, indicating that many of these professionals are considering a potential move in the future.
II. Obstacles to taking the plunge
Just like the rats in B.F. Skinner's box experiment, many professionals are motivated by the unplanned, irregular rewards at their current job.
But, it’s important to remember that the key term is “considering.” While professionals in technology and otherwise across the country may desire to try out a new job, many are hesitant to actually pull the trigger.
For example, according to an analysis by Daniel Gulati published by Harvard Business Review, most people won’t leave their jobs because of psychological reasons. In some cases, professionals are conditioned to stay put because of the security, financial stability and benefits of their current position.
Consequently, risk-averse professionals often consider it safer to stay in a less-than-ideal position rather than leaving to explore a potentially higher, but less certain payoff.
“Instead of surveying the landscape and climbing the highest mountain possible, we're too busy scaling the first peak we happen to stumble upon,” explains Gulati.
III. Why you shouldn't be afraid
There is no doubt that leaving your current job to find a new one is an intimidating decision to make. You might have dependents to support and have worries about salary and security. But, despite those intrinsic fears, finding a new job, especially in tech, at the right time may be far less difficult than one might imagine.
And yes, now is the right time.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3.6 million new job openings on the last business day of May 2012, up from 3.4 million in the month prior.
And amongst the most in-demand skill sets for these positions to be filled, technological proficiency was ranked as the number one most desirable characteristic for new hires this year, according to CNN Money’s 10 Hot Careers for 2012.
Further, according to the December 2011 Dice Report, roughly 65% of the 1,200 HR managers and recruiters polled mentioned they wanted to expand their IT headcount by more than 20% in the coming year. 42% of respondents also suggested that salaries for new hires will grow in the coming year as well.
“Employers across markets and industries are seeking employees with deep digital skill sets,” said 24 Seven’s CEO Celeste Gudas. “These are the employees who are in the drivers seat today and are in a position to move into both new and more senior roles."
In addition to the sheer volume of available tech jobs, skills gap expert Peter Cappelli of The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania mentioned in an interview with Infusive Solutions that the most in-demand technical professionals today are those who are currently doing the same job at another company. Consequently, any individuals ready to make a move can use their freshly sharpened tech skills as immense leverage over their competitors in the job market.
Additionally, because the demand for top technical talent outweighs the supply, highly qualified tech professionals can be confident that any future employers will take care of their needs, lest poor management lead to turnover and the financial loss of restarting the recruitment process.
“Companies should be aware of potential turnover even among their most engaged and top performing employees, especially as more jobs in the industry continue to open up and the market becomes increasingly competitive,” said Bob Dickey, EVP of Technologies at Randstad.
Bottom Line: Yes, considering a job switch, especially for the person with dependents, can feel a bit like standing on the edge of the cliff. However, the technology industry is absolutely on fire right now, and if ever there were a time to consider a move, it is now. So grab the bull by the horns and be confident in your ability to take the plunge. You might just find that it is the most liberating experience of your life.
Infusive Solutions Inc. is a niche technical recruiting firm within the Microsoft Partner Network dedicated to serving the workforce needs of our clients as well as taking our candidate’s careers to the next level. Join is on Twitter and Facebook.
Download our new whitepaper "Demand for Microsoft Professionals Booming in the Big Apple" here.
Were these tips helpful to you? If so, let us know in the comments section!
Image credit: poulcarlsen / 123RF Stock Photo