Millennials move through jobs faster than a hot knife through butter. Staying in a job for longer than a year or two is almost unheard of.
So, you’re one of the loyal ones, eh? A tried and true, dedicated employee!
Even as an outlier in a fast-paced workforce, there comes a time for everyone when it’s simply and appropriately time to move on.
You stayed for the salary, the benefits, the people or for keeping a routine. Now, you feel too cozy, life seems mundane and it’s been a while since you’ve learned anything new.
Yes, my friend, it sounds like it’s time.
Transitions are tough, especially when you don’t do them very often. Even positive changes are stressful because you don’t know what to expect. It’s scary to think that your skills might not generalize or that you’re underqualified.
Nonetheless, it’s time to go and here’s what to do.
Remind yourself that change is good for personal and career growth
Willingness to take risks and be uncomfortable are prerequisites for growth. It is the only honest way to exit a plateau.
It can be terrifying to do a new job, especially if you’ve been doing the same one for several years. It could feel like you’ve lost touch with the outside world and the only job you know how to do is the one you have.
New skills only develop when you do new things. “The only thing to fear is fear itself”, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” etc.
List any promotions you’ve had on your resume
Staying at a job for too long may send future employers the message that you’re not motivated. Include on your resume the growth you’ve had in your present position. This would apply to new titles or responsibilities you’ve acquired.
You can also discuss how the job you have has helped you clarify the direction of your career. Teach the new company about what kept you there, your values and how you’re ready to move forward.
Discuss the benefits of you staying with the same company
Let’s start with the obvious fact that you’re extremely dedicated and loyal. This is a quality character trait for an employee. Companies know very well that they lose business each time they rehire.
Also, you’ve gained a great deal of specialization during your time there. Make a list of your strengths and highlight the unique skills you’ve learned during your time at that company.
Make sure the new company is a good fit
Don’t go taking a leap of faith without a parachute. Have a safety plan.
Risks are only positive when they are calculated.
Even if you’re fed up with your current position, it’s important to wait and make a move that’s right for you. Identify the values of each company, their management style and the workplace culture before jumping into a commitment you would be unhappy to fulfill.
Leave on good terms
It’s important to keep positive, professional connections so you have references for the future. Leaving on a good note will also give you a sense of closure.
Give your employer enough notice, tie up any loose ends on projects, ask how you can help the new hire and provide an exit interview. You never know when you might need this company again!
Remember it’s normal to miss your old job
You’ve been at this place for so long, you almost feel guilty to leave. You’ve probably made friends that you’ll miss and you’ll probably feel awkward learning a new coworking space.
Remind yourself why you’re leaving and why it’s important for your growth. Thank your old job for having provided everything it has and move forward into the new experiences ahead.
If you leave on a good note, you can always go back.