Few people are happy with every aspect of their jobs. But many struggle with the decision as to when is the right time to look for a new one. When do the negatives outweigh the positives? While the ultimate decision to change jobs is subjective to each individual, this short quiz will help you clarify your current position and give you some guidance as to whether it is time to think about moving on.
If you have questions about the quiz or would like additional career counseling, contact us at email@example.com.
Time to Change Jobs Career Counseling Quiz
Answer each of the following 5 questions about your current position.
1. Skills and passion
Think about how well your current job matches your skills and training AND how much you enjoy doing it (passion). Which of the following statements best fits your current position?
a. I love my job and I am good at it. This is the work I have always wanted to do, have been trained to do, and feel best fits my talents.
b. I am good at what I do, but I do not really enjoy it. If the money and all other conditions were equal, I would do some other type of work.
c. I hate my job. It does not make good use of my talents and I do not enjoy it.
2. Financial assessment
How well does your current total compensation package (all pay elements and benefits) meet your financial needs? Answer based on needs, NOT what you want! Which of the following statements best fits your current position?
a. My current job meets or exceeds my financial needs. I am able to pay my bills and I have the health and insurance coverage I need. I am able to save for all future needs (kid’s college, retirement, etc.)
b. I need to work at making ends meet. Either one or both of the following are true: my current health and insurance are below what I need or I am not able to fully fund future needs.
c. My current job leaves me short of funds. I have trouble meeting current obligations. Or, I am unable to save for future needs. Or, health care and insurance coverage is severely lacking.
3. Political position
No one ever really knows how they are politically positioned in the organization. Answer the following based on your best assessment of your position, including what you may have heard from others. Try to be as objective as possible. Which of the following statements best fits your current position?
a. I am positioned well in my current work environment. I am well liked by both senior management and my peers. I have strong, long-standing personal relationships with key decision makers. I am included in meetings and projects that are not always in my direct area of responsibility.
b. I am in a neutral political position. Senior managers and peers are friendly with me, but I am not really included in decision-making or special projects. I am told that my work product is good and I depend on that to compensate for my not being more politically active.
c. I am unsure where I stand politically. I am rarely selected for special projects. I seldom interact with senior management and often feel excluded, even from office gossip. There are senior managers or peers who I think do not like me personally.
4. Company stability
Think about the future of your company over the next 1 to 3 years. Do not try to look beyond 3 years. Even the best strategic plans cannot accurately predict the future much beyond 18 months. Which of the following statements best describes your company’s future prospects?
a. The company’s future is bright. It is profitable with good cash flow. Revenue, profit, and stock price are growing at more than 6% per year. New products and services are in the pipeline, customers are happy, and it is difficult for competitors to enter our markets.
b. The company is stable for now – it is profitable, but growth is closer to the rate of inflation or less. The introduction of new products and service has been slow or non-existent and the company is “pretty much living off of existing contracts”. Customers sometimes express dissatisfaction and say they stay with us because they are contractually bound to do so. Competition is evident and some clients are choosing to do what we for them themselves.
c. The company’s future is murky. It is either losing money now or profitability is slim. Future growth is unpredictable as new products are consistently late or not even planned. The stock price has been flat or has declined over the past 3 years. Our competition is growing and they consistently outperform us in sales, revenue, or customer satisfaction.
5. Position stability
Think about the future of your position at the company over the next 1 to 3 years. Which of the following statements best describes its future?
a. I am in a key position. I have a large number of people (more than 20) reporting to me. My position is directly related to revenue production (a business unit rather than sales or a resource unit). There have been no involuntary force reductions (layoffs) in the company for more than 3 years and growth is creating promotional opportunities for qualified individuals.
b. My position is either in sales or a resource unit and I have no staff or fewer than 10 people. There has been at least one reduction in force in the company in the past 36 months. There is a backlog of qualified people waiting for promotion but the company does not create enough opportunities for them to move up.
c. My position is temporary, or is duplicated by a number of other people, or can easily be consolidated into other positions. The company has had more than one reduction in force in the last 36 months. It is clear that some of the more talented people in the company have left for better opportunities.
For each “a” answer, score 3 points
For each “b” answer, score 2 points
For each “c” answer, score 1 point
Total your score.
If you answered “c” to ANY of the five questions, you should seriously begin considering options for changing jobs. If your total score is less than 10, you may want to make your plans for seeking a new position a high priority.
Options for new positions can include looking for other positions within your current company, looking at similar positions in other companies, or a complete career change.
For additional career counseling, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer your questions directly.