It turns out that quitters are in vogue right now.
The latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 2.7 million Americans quit their jobs voluntarily in May 2015. The number of “quits,” as the bureau calls them, remains at its highest levels since 2008.
Commentators and human resource analysts see a number of potential driving factors for all these quitters, everything from the influx of greater numbers of “job hopping” Millennials to over-worked, over-stressed work environments to pent-up appetites from top talent to move up by moving on.
Regardless of the motivation, what does all this quitting mean for the average worker?
The first and most obvious conclusion is that the job market has improved to a point where more and more people are confident about quitting an unsatisfying job and looking for another.
And second, that there are more people than ever before out there looking for their “better” job.
These two market realities have profound implications for anyone thinking about changing jobs. Most importantly, it means the path to a “better job” will not be found simply by updating your resumé.
Long before doing any work on your CV, you need to engage in a journey of self-discovery where you will ask yourself some tough questions both about your current job and your dream job.
You’ll need to know what it is that makes you dissatisfied or unhappy in your current job. Is it the work itself, your boss, or the overall environment? Or, are you unhappy for reasons that are really unrelated to work? It’s important that you don’t abandon a job because you’re suffering through a general malaise.
Second, you’ll need to know what is it exactly that you’re looking for in a better job. Is it higher pay, more responsibility, a more flexible work schedule or perhaps the excitement and challenge of an entirely new career?
The problem is, many people change jobs without knowing why they are unhappy in their current job and what role and responsibilities will provide them with the greatest meaning and satisfaction. That means your resumé will be focused more on where you’ve been, and less on where you want to go.
Let’s face it, the sweet spot in any search for a new job will be found at the intersection of your skills, interests and strengths. However, if you don’t take time to take inventory, define those commodities, and clarify your reasons for wanting a change, you’ll have a lot of trouble ensuring that your next job is actually better than the current one.