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Switching jobs after a long period with the same employer

You’ve had the same job for many years and you are considering a job switch? This is how you should go about it.

Bright Plus

3 min. reading time

When you started working, you did not think you’d stay that long with the same employer. And, yet, you’ve been a loyal employee at the same company for ten years or more. Lately, though, you’ve felt the increasing itch to take the next step in your career. But how do you go about it when you’ve been employed by the same organisation for so long? And is giving up your familiar job really a sound decision?

When is it time to leave?

You feel that you are stuck in a rut; you want more time for yourself or your family; you are not satisfied with internal changes at your employer... There can be many reasons for wanting to switch jobs after many years working for the same organisation. You must first decide for yourself what you think is the most important: an environment that you know like the back of your hand or a totally new adventure, the certainty of long-standing seniority or a new contract with a slightly higher take-home pay or more flexible working hours. Not an easy choice to make. But if you start having doubts it usually means the writing is on the wall: deep down, you know it’s time for something new. If you still can’t decide whether you should or shouldn’t go, weigh the pros and cons with the help of a career counselor.

There (probably) isn’t a right time to leave

If you’ve set your mind on a sector where there are currently a lot of redundancies, it might not be a bad idea to wait and see how the market evolves in the coming months. However, waiting endlessly for the right time to switch jobs is not the best solution. Personal considerations will also come into play. Leaving might fit in with your own career plan, a desire to have children, or a personal need to take it slow. Sometimes, you just have to jump, even if the timing is not ideal at that particular moment. Besides, it never hurts to keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities. And if such a new opportunity arises, you just have to grab it.

Overcome your fear of the unknown

The prospect of leaving your familiar place of employment for a new job can be quite daunting. Whatever way you look at it, it is a big leap into the unknown, and that’s what will happen if you don’t have a proper plan. Listing quite clearly what is important to you and where you want to go might help you overcome this fear. What is it that energises you, that you like to do and that you are good at? Does your current job meet those criteria? And how do you picture your ideal job at a new employer? By thinking about your future in those terms, you make it more real and tangible.

Many small steps are easier than one big leap

You may find the idea of having to job search again quite intimidating, especially if your last job interview was ten or twenty years ago. Remember that you don’t have to sign a contract right away with a new employer. Instead, take small steps: explore the market; assess your skills and decide the direction you want to take; leverage your network to find out about great opportunities; and keep working on your CV in the meantime.

Involve your close circle in your decision

Obviously, the way you want to lead your life and your career is your decision and yours alone. But that does not mean that you can’t rely on your family and close circle of friends to help you take the plunge. Their support can allay many of your doubts. Ultimately, they know the real you, as well as your talents and strengths.

If you are taking your first steps on the job market after a long period of time, consider these excellent tips:

  • You’ve built an extensive network over the years – customers, suppliers, former colleagues, friends, acquaintances, and so on. Use it! Chances are it is much larger than you think.
  • View your loyalty as an asset, because that’s exactly what it is. Know your worth and what you can do for a company.
  • Make a list of everything you’ve learnt and accomplished over the years. This will be a good basis for your CV and will boost your self-confidence.
  • Create a strong CV emphasising your strengths and format it in a modern and attractive lay-out.
  • If necessary, ask someone with experience in recruitment and selection to review your CV. For more information surf here.