The Art of Career Building: Chapter 2 - Changing Jobs

This second chapter of The Art of Career Building provides knowledge related to the economic consequences of picking the right job while pursuing long-term goals.

Career building is hard work. You have to make many decisions that can have long-term repercussions. Looking for a job and building your career once you have that job can take you away from your family and wreak havoc on your personal life. You may begin to judge your success based solely on what you’re being paid and make poor career decisions that hurt you in the long-term.

If you take a job that pays very well or you’re offered a large salary, it can actually hurt your career. Once you have risen as high as you can go or learned all you can learn from a particular job, it’s time to move on. However, if you’re paid too well, or overpaid, it can be very hard to give up even the worst of jobs. There are some companies that overpay key people and once they get into debt they become slaves of the organization. They suddenly realize they can’t get paid as well anywhere else and have become accustomed to lifestyle they can’t reverse. Now, they’re stuck in the wrong job and it leads to failure. As hard as it is to do, you must never accept more pay than you can easily replace by moving to another position. You may think you’ll take the extra money and put it away, but few actually do.

Another problem situation is when you have a superior that is stuck in their position with little chance of being promoted. If they don’t move up it creates fewer opportunities for you to move up. Over time, you’ll resent this situation and you’ll try to take their job. All this will do is drain your energy. If you don’t try to take their job, you’ll be stuck in your current position too long and your career will suffer. To build your career you cannot allow yourself to stagnate and lose momentum.

It’s also possible to accept a position or job that’s wrong for you. You take the job for the big paycheck and then realize you don’t like the job. Eventually, your performance drops, the money is spent, you’re in debt, and your enthusiasm for the work fades. This situation opens you to internal rivals that try to take your job away from you. Even if you restore your performance, your superiors have already lost interest in you as potential future leader and your career will suffer.

You may receive advice not to move between jobs too quickly. However, slow career progress always leads to failure.

When you accept a new position, you can’t insure against failure. On the other hand, you can’t know what opportunities may open up either. What matters most is making the best use of your existing position.

Here’s some advice; don’t keep asking for raises and don’t accumulate large debts. Be as valuable to your current employer as possible and make sure you are rewarded for that value.

If you’re considering a new job in another city, keep in mind that relocating is expensive. Take the time to ensure the new position supports your long-term career goals before making such an expensive move.

While moving is expensive, staying in a crowded job market can also be expensive. If the job market is crowded, you’ll have to spend more time looking for work, interviewing, and dealing with agencies. It will take longer to find the right job and end up costing you more than moving. Either way, you end up with nothing.

When the economy is struggling, the competition for fewer jobs puts pressure on everyone to take positions they don’t want for less pay and fewer benefits than they deserve. Job seekers stop worrying about their career and focus on being able to pay their bills. If they can’t find the right position, they risk losing all the assets they have built up over the years.

Considering all the effects of competition on the job market your best approach is to make your employer as successful as possible. Here is how to approach negotiating for a new job. Negotiate to be paid from shared profits rather than a hefty salary. Ask for bonuses to be paid on your performance rather than a large salary guarantee. This arrangement will force you to be more productive and make you indispensable to your employer. It forces you to generate more value for the business than your paycheck consumes.

Here’s how you become more valuable to your employer. Fight for business and focus all your efforts on making the company successful. Once you’ve generated that success, insist on being rewarded for your efforts and recognized for the business you’ve won. If you make them successful, they can afford to reward you more and your job will be secure because they need you.