How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Job

Just starting out in your career? An important and often overlooked element in your career development is knowing when to leave a job. Here are some signs, straight from a former recruiter’s mouth, about when it is time to find a new employer:

Problem #1- A Long Tenure

Many articles discuss the problems with “job hopping.” However, a long tenure at one company actually makes you less marketable too. When there has been career movement, it conveys that you had to learn new corporate cultures and sharpen your skills. Recruiters define an attractive candidate as someone with between 2 to 7 years at each of his or her employers.

There are other benefits to changing employers every 2 to 7 years. Companies often give a boost in pay that is greater than the typical yearly raise to attract new talent. You are also more likely to convince a new employer to produce desirable professional development opportunities if you maintain an attractive career profile.

There are exceptions to this rule of course. However, you need to be aware early in your career that most organizations view long tenures negatively.

Problem #2- Rumors of Financial Problems

This one seems obvious. If news articles talk about the poor financial state of your employer, it makes sense to move to another company. If you work for a company that keeps its financial information closely held, you might wonder how you can discern your employer’s financial health.

It is often good to look at the actions of people who know the most about a company’s performance. Are executives suddenly leaving for “better opportunities”? Has accounting developed a turnover problem? These signs, from the people who see how much money is coming in and exactly how much is going out, can give you a picture of your employer’s financial state.

Problem #3- Lack of Growth

Many job articles talk about growth, but in today’s workplace, it is up to you to promote your career development. HR departments exist to handle the administrative tasks associated with hiring and managing a company’s workforce. There are several signs you can look for to assess whether growth opportunities are or are not there.

If you work for a large company, the most visible sign is that you are not selected for promotions or desirable assignments. Look at your most recent performance review. While companies often use performance reviews to cover themselves in legal disputes (otherwise known as CYA), it is a valuable tool for an employee to determine his or her manager’s true views. Take it seriously if a manager likes your performance at your current position but seems unenthusiastic or evasive about opportunities for growth.

The decision to leave a small company is less straightforward. Successful small companies are ones that identify and grow lucrative niches for themselves. An individual employee can have the freedom to introduce process improvements or initiate new service offerings that might get vetoed at a larger company. These experiences are crucial for professional development. However, if the business owner loses interest in staying abreast of marketplace trends, a small company can quickly deteriorate. This situation means that growth opportunities will evaporate for you. The best advice in this case, leave quickly.

Career progression is a personal responsibility. Making sure you know when to exit a job that has become stagnant is critical. The three items mentioned above can tell you when it is time to go.

Take the Scissors to the Credit Cards

It was extremely difficult to resist the temptation of credit cards in the early years of the 21st Century. There was growth in the real estate market and the economy was booming. Easy credit fueled everything and complacency was common in both realistic loans lenders and borrowers. The former saw little risk and focused on profit with seemingly few risks involved. Borrowers were effectively being given an open checkbook; it was too tempting not to spend. The debt crisis certainly stopped complacency. There were numerous casualties and even though recession has receded there are still people falling into the trap of excessive spending and supporting monthly expenditure by the use of credit cards.

Balancing

Many people used to have a wallet full of credit cards. Often they juggled between the cards, accepting 0% balance transfers when available and generally paying off the minimum each month on each card. That is a recipe for disaster with the inevitable outcome a balance on each card.  Each incurs high interest rate charges and there is no easy solution to that kind of problem.

If you get into this situation the first thing that you must do is to sit down and write every liability down, leaving nothing out. The first debt that needs to be cleared is the one that is incurring the highest rate of interest. The reality might be that the reason why you got into trouble in the first place is because of your inability to repay your commitments. Ideally the solution is increasing monthly income but that may not always be possible.

Low Interest Rates

Interest rates are currently low and one solution may be to investigate whether the problem can be solved by taking out a consolidation loan. It will put the core balances into one figure that can be paid off over a defined period with equal monthly instalments. There is help out there for those who need it though the rates on offer may be higher for those with a poor credit score.

It might be difficult for you to sign up to a term loan without actually receiving any money to spend but what is the alternative? Penalty interest will continue to be charged until the balance is paid off; and it is growing by the day.

You may actually rid yourself of this huge problem but that is not the end of the issue. Some of the card companies may be delighted to allow you to continue to use their product. While a credit card is certainly convenient there is an inherent danger. It is to only pay off the minimum monthly requirement which was where your problems began in the first place.

Self Discipline

How good is your self- discipline? If you have a credit card for convenience then it is essential that you pay off the outstanding balance at the end of every month. You do not need to have a wallet full of credit cards if you are disciplined enough to use a credit card purely for convenience.

There is no doubt that the days prior to the recession are unlikely to return. Lenders have stricter criteria than before but credit is certainly still available. If you have managed to extricate yourself from a seemingly hopeless financial situation you most certainly don’t want to return there. You don’t need to have a ceremonial cutting up of your credit cards but you must look at your financial situation realistically. There may be the need for a few economies if your expenditure seems to be outstripping your income but they will be worth it to get out of trouble.

Clever Ways to Pay for Travel Abroad

Traveling abroad is a wonderful way to learn more about new cultures. Unfortunately travel does not necessarily come cheap, especially if you are planning to stay for a while. We recently did a trip to Italy, and even though we saved a lot of money by negotiating our Airbnb rates, the total cost of the trip was quite expensive.

Paying for food and accommodation can become very expensive. Fortunately, paying for travel becomes a lot easier if you are willing to look at things from a new perspective.

Here are some ideas to help you make your dreams of traveling the world a reality:

Look for Part-Time Work in Agriculture

There are many farms out there that need assistance, especially when it comes to harvesting crops. They usually pay a reasonable amount and, in some cases, will also provide food and accommodation as well. If you are interested in organic farming, wwoof.net is a good place to look for opportunities.

Grape picking in France is one such opportunity and is very popular but you could choose to work on a dairy farm – just apply for the type of work that appeals to you.

Work Exchange

Hosts listed on sites like workaway.info  and helpx.net do not pay a salary but will usually pay for your food and will provide accommodation for you. In most cases, you work for around about 5 hours a day in exchange for board and lodging.

Find Work as a House/ Pet Sitter

Sites such as trustedhousesitters.com are a subscription service. People with pets looking for house sitters advertise on the site and you can apply for house sitting jobs in the area of your choice. You do not get paid but you do get free accommodation for very little in terms of work. This is a great idea for pet-lovers.

Work as an Au-Pair

Working as an au-pair can be a great way to travel. In general, you need to be between the ages of 19 and 30 to sign up with any of the agencies. You will usually work between 25 and 30 hours a week and may be expected to do some housekeeping as well as looking after children.

The advantage here is that the host family may pay for your flights as well. So you get free board and lodging, and some spending money as well.

Travel Writing

Travel writing is a great way to get extra value from your holiday. Site such as matadornetwork.com can allow you to make money from your holiday photos and experiences. Also consider contacting local travel magazines – the rates are usually better when writing for a printed publication. It can be harder to break into offline writing and you will often only be paid when the piece is published – this could be as long as 6-12 months later, depending on the editorial calendar.

Couch Surfing

With couch surfing you register on couchsurfing.com and set up your profile. You then look for other registered members in the area that you want to visit. You send a request through with the respective dates and see whether or not they can accommodate you.

You are not going to need to pay for accommodation but may be expected to help out with food or at the very least, to help with a bit of cooking. You will generally be expected to clean up after yourself as well.

The advantage of this kind of arrangement is that the host family will share what they love about their town so you get a unique perspective.

You can travel on a shoestring budget and have a ball at the same time!