Career Development: Scratching the Job Change Itch


Like scratching an annoying itch, making a job change feels great once you land a new gig. However, it’s a stressful and laborious process where you will be frequently riding an emotional rollercoaster. And, if spending just one more day with your present employer feels about as enjoyable as having root canal without Novocain, then let’s add desperation into the mix.

Regardless of the reasons and circumstances for why you are scratching the job change itch, you must be attuned to the following components.

Adopt A Detective Mindset

Getting positive responses to your search efforts send will your spirits soaring, especially if it’s from a prospective employer you want to work for. You know that those involved in the hiring process will be on their best behavior and to land you, will exaggerate their beauty marks and not be completely forthcoming about their blemishes. In my consulting work, I coach candidates on how to use this detective mind set to get the complete picture about the opportunity.

One component of this mind set is questions that create a trustful atmosphere that encourages the interviewer to be transparent. See below.

What would a typical day for me in this role look like? Not only is this a great question, but it also forces the interviewer to begin envisioning you in the role. Once this starts, it does not stop.

What are the goals of your department and what are some examples of the contributions I need to make in achieving them? Again, you are being pictured in the job. Additionally, the question conveys your desire to be a doer and difference maker.

Changing jobs changes your life and there is no margin for error. Dig deep!

What’s Your Definition of the Grass is Greener on the Other Side?

Except for transitioning into a new field, it is common to expect that making a job change will increase your income. So, let’s put money aside and look at other areas of potentially greener grass. I love it when someone changes jobs to become a “bigger fish in a smaller sea.” Same holds true when they tell me that their new role is one where making a meaningful contribution is spelled out versus floated in vague language. And for my ambitious clients seeking to build a career versus holding a job, I’m thrilled when they tell me that a prospective employer promotes from within.

No one else’s greener grass is your greener grass. Do not take a job just because the company has great PTO benefits. Take the job because you can see yourself being fulfilled in it. 

Buckle Up: Welcome Aboard the Emotional Roller Coaster

Unless you get hired quickly, you will find job searching emotionally taxing. Research done by LinkedIn in 2022 found that the average time to find a job is about two months and gets even longer when the candidate pool is populated with numerous exceptional candidates. 

Consider this scenario: On Monday, you send out eight resumes. Tuesday through Friday, not a peep. Finally, late Friday afternoon, your phone rings. You answer it hoping it’s one of the companies you applied to. Instead, it’s a “sorry, wrong number” call. Happy hour has just moved up to an earlier timeslot.

Here’s another. Over two weeks you have had three interviews for what you view as a sensational opportunity. Today was the last one and the vibe you picked up is that they are going to extend an offer. Around 4 p.m. your phone rings. It’s them. They are going with another candidate. You wonder if the Grandma’s slices you had before the interview gave you garlic breath.

My experience is that people stay put and do not scratch the job change itch because it can be an arduous uphill climb with more disappointments than successes.

That said, a new job or career path can change your life. It’s worth the climb.

Good luck to all!