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A commonly held belief is that expanding your career by frequently changing employers every few years is positive for developing your career.
It keeps you growing, ensures that you remain upwardly mobile and adaptable and it means you get a regular review of your salary.

From a professional’s vantage point, these may seem like good reasons to keep yourself always looking out for new career opportunities. Some would even advise you that it’s actually career limiting to stay at one company for a long period of time. Research indicates that the youngest people entering the job market now will have 12 – 15 jobs in their lifetimes.

Although there can be very good reasons to change jobs as discussed above and though it may seem as if job-hopping is the norm, there is another side to this story. Resigning from your current role and expanding your career at another organisation should not be taken lightly or nonchalantly. The truth is if it’s not well thought through and if you’re moving for the wrong reasons there is a good chance that you will regret your decision.

If the following reasons are motivating you to think about quitting and changing your current job, it would be wise to reconsider as these are scenarios that could mean you are about to make a bad career move.

1. You are being headhunted

You enjoy your work, there are opportunities for advancement, your boss likes you and treats you well and you have an appropriate level of challenge that keeps you motivated and stimulated. BUT you’ve been approached by a recruiter who is promising you a great career opportunity. Do not be fooled by flattery or enticed by the fact that you were “headhunted”. This appeals to your ego and may cloud your decision-making ability and objectivity. Of course, there could be good opportunities that may come across your path in this way but proceed with caution. Certain people with in-demand skills get these "headhunting calls" once a week, it’s not some mystical sign that you should change jobs. You are the master of your destiny and need to manage your own career and think rationally.

2. Your previous manager calls you

Upping and leaving a current decent job because a favourite old boss reconnects with you and offers you an opportunity to join his/her team is not always a good idea, especially if they have recently joined a new company. Keep in mind, your previous manager is now trying to establish their own career at the new organisation and they are building a team to support themselves and with which they can impress their new employer. The truth is, the reasons for your previous successful working relationship would also have been influenced by the environment you were both in at the time, the specific organisation and the projects you were busy with that all aligned to turn it into a great work dynamic. This dynamic may not be able to be replicated in a different company with a different culture and different top management. Don’t be sentimental in such situations, positive memories or past successes with a manager do not guarantee your future success at a new organisation.

3. Money, money, money.

If you are reasonably happy in your current role, enjoy good working relationships, have possibilities for promotion and are at least being reasonably paid; be cautious of making a decision to accept a new job offer based purely on a big salary increase. The prospect of all this cash could seriously hamper your ability to evaluate the real prospects for career growth at the company as well as whether or not the company culture is actually a fit for you.

In conclusion and as these above scenarios demonstrate, managing your career and considering new job opportunities has its fair share of pitfalls. There are many good reasons to consider making a career move. However, don’t take it for granted when you have a good thing going. Your next career move may not be all that you hoped for and as the saying goes, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Niteske Marshall is the MD of Network Recruitment.
Talent Management

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