While COVID-19 is still a very present reality/complication/struggle for many of us, we have now reached the point where, as a society, we are trying to find our way forward after our extended stay in “the new normal.” For many, this includes changing jobs. The reasons for these job changes vary among individuals. Some are tired of the long hours, while others are simply ready for a new challenge. We all know the classic list of reasons to move on to a new workplace, including things like better salary, the desire to leave a toxic environment, a reduction in the commute time, etc. That being said, there are several factors that come into play now that are relatively new considerations in the work environment. Here are three additional points to have on your radar before making the switch:
Assess Emotional Intelligence
I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a trend where online articles from employers who exhibit emotional intelligence are being held up as positive examples and lauded. One example is this boss who firmly expects that his employees respect other people’s personal time and not send work emails.
The pandemic changed the workplace scenery, and one major aspect of that is a newly appreciated awareness of the emotional intelligence of a workplace. This awareness is not just our managers or the executive leadership team, but the organization as a whole. What support was offered during that time of transition? Are there concrete examples of leaders actively choosing a course with their employees in mind?
To get an accurate assessment of the company, consider reviewing their blogs and corporate social media posts to understand the messages and vision they’re sharing as an organization. To help verify whether this lines up with what they’re actually doing, look up the company’s reviews by employees on Glassdoor.com, or by reaching out to current employees through LinkedIn. Both of these will help provide you with an insiders’ perspective on whether the messaging they’re purporting lines up with their reality. This two-step approach of understanding their intentions and determining if they’re successfully implementing them creates extra work during your due diligence process of finding a potential fit. But if working within an organization that takes its employees’ well-being into account is of importance for you, it’s important to take these additional steps.
Determine the work schedule
Another point of disruption in the workplace during the pandemic was the actual work schedule. The standard 9 to 5, five days a week is a thing of the past in many workplaces. The pandemic opened many employers’ eyes to the viability of remote/hybrid options, which can often include a more flexible working schedule. While 10 hr, 4-day weeks are being adopted by many employers, it is not the only option. So as you are on your hunt, be sure you have already determined your preferred schedule and how much you would be willing to bend in negotiations. Our time should be one of our most treasured commodities, so let’s be sure we are investing it with purpose.
Learn the new job terrain
Finally, do you know the future of your job pathway? The pandemic changed the trajectory of many fields. Jobs that were previously in demand are dropping off, and new ones are surging. Do you know which category you fall into? That said, there is some good news for those who need to alter their career future. With so many affordable just-in-time resources to help you upskill and retrain (LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, YouTube tutorials, etc.), it’s easier than ever to prepare for a shift in your career. It is good to keep in mind that it might be necessary to start onboarding these new skills amidst the job search to be adequately prepared. Hey… no one said that changing jobs was for the faint of heart, but still, you’ve got this.
And now the dust is settling. What will you do? Maybe after reviewing this list, you realized that your business showed emotional intelligence and had an excellent work schedule, so now you just need to upskill to tweak your career trajectory inside the company. Perhaps this list just bolstered your desire to jump ship stat. Whichever the case maybe, leverage all you have learned about yourself and your workplace over the last year to make an informed decision for your career pathway.
Jacquelyn Adams is a storyteller and an award-winning CEO. She lives in a world of constant exploration, whether it’s summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, vlogging about the future of work… or discovering how she’d do in a chocolate eating contest (answer: last place). Find more of her Lessons on Leadership articles here or connect with her on LinkedIn here.