Is It Right Time to Change the Job?

First of all the time is never right or wrong; your current situation, job prospects and aspirations are the driving factor.

Note: All the following content is based on my personal experiences in IT and what I observed in professional surroundings.

When not to change

First let's understand when not to change.

I recommend not until you have completed 1 year, because if you have joined an organization then it takes time to understand the organization, project and people. Even if you decide to jump over to another job then it raises a question in HR's mind of the next company and they might think you will leave this company also.

Note: In countries like the USA it does not matter because people do consulting and they often change projects and employers. But this is not yet common and well accepted in India.
 

  1. When you have committed to your manager that you won't leave for a certain period of time.

    I was once offered a better and challenging project and I shared with my manager's manager that I can't take that role because that required commitment beyond my target date to change my job. I said the same and they understood it. I continued with my job in hand for another few months. (Sometimes this level of honesty could be lethal but you can do it only when you know your worth in the company and project).
     
  2. Don't just change because you are frustrated with your Job, profile environment and so on. Do a proper research on the next job profile and company before you move over? Many times the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side” turns out to be so true.
     
  3. Getting married or expecting a child or some family emergency. Since these are time-sensitive life events and no employer gives long vacations to a new hire, I learned that many companies have a clause that you can take only limited numbers of days leave for the first few months and so on.

So when do I change?

  1. If you have observed that your growth is stuck and there is no more room to grow in position or salary.
     
  2. Limited opportunities to learn and contribute at various project and organization levels.
     
  3. Short-sightedness of higher management and leadership.
     
  4. No work life balance. You may not find it better in a new organization, but you can figure this out during interviews with a new organization.
     
  5. You have been forced to be part of one monotonous job, responsibility and project.
     
  6. Not good behavior from managers and no one listens to you. (Do not say this in the next Interview because this may happen there also, but as I said above time will pass in understanding the organization and projects, so you will be fine for a few months for sure.) So, no perfect world.
     
  7. You have been constantly promised the hike, position and title change, project change but management always comes up with excuses. This is the biggest problem that I have observed.
     
  8. Display of future prospects. You will often be told a bigger picture of the projects and so on. It's worth giving a thought. But if you have burnt your fingers once then you know what you need to do.
     
  9. No technology leadership at the organization level.
     
  10. Learning in not encouraged.
     
  11. Odd work hours that doesn't suit you or your family needs.

How to Prepare for Job Change

  1. Preparation with peace and a plan.
     
  2. Do not tell anyone that you have started looking for change. Based on an organization's HR policy it may be considered as an in-appropriate act.
     
  3. Invest more in Learning.
     
  4. Update your resume for all past projects you have accomplished.
     
  5. Connect with various like-minded people, HR on LinkedIn.
     
  6. Understand exactly what the Job Requirements are and a Job Profile expects from a person.
     
  7. Never go to an interview without knowing who will be interviewing you.
     
  8. Instead of all new technology releases like KendoUI, knockout.js, Telerik and so on focus on hard-core technologies like C#, Architecture, MVC, WCF, EF, WPF, SQL BI, Security, Design Patterns and so on and many other mental, attitude and behavioral skills needed to excel in the industry.

    I am not saying new technologies are not needed, but those are not preferred required skills in 85% of jobs, so better focus on hard-core technology areas.
     
  9. Don't ignore non-technical skills, because Technical and non-Technical skills make the deadly combination.
     
  10. Always check with new Interviewing HR about the number of interview rounds and what is expected in each round.