By SGN | 27 Jun 2023
The rate of job switching rose to a six-year high in Singapore in 2022, spurred by a rebounding economy. The trend shows no sign of slowing in 2023, with nearly 2 in 3 professionals considering a new job.
As you take a step back and assess your current role, you may wonder: Should you be looking for a new job? When should quiet quitting give way to actual quitting? And are your expectations reasonable?
Here are seven scenarios where a change of workplace scenery may be overdue.
You are not being valued
Have you gone years without a raise or promotion, despite steady performance and decent company earnings? Have you been side-lined for co-workers with less experience, even though you put in more work and produce better results?
If you’re not properly valued at work, consider starting an honest conversation with your manager. What milestones should you hit to be considered for the next promotion? Are there areas of improvement that you can work on? Establish clear performance indicators and targets to hit to put yourself in a good position when appraisals roll around.
And if this still fails, perhaps it’s time to move on.
Reality Check ☝️ Ask for honest feedback from people you trust and be open to receive it. Also, don’t fixate on salary. A salary hike may fund an aspirational lifestyle at the expense of other important aspects of job satisfaction, such as flexibility and relationship with teammates.
You are no longer learning
Perhaps your role was stimulating in the beginning, whereas you now find yourself able to coast on autopilot. Not only has your learning hit a ceiling, you also feel unable to raise the team’s performance any further.
Changing jobs would allow you to take on fresh challenges, connect with more people and gain new skills. You could choose to broaden your horizons by pursuing regional opportunities, switching industries, or upskilling to expand your areas of expertise. For tips on making successful mid-career switches, read this article by recruitment expert Sachet Sathi.
Reality Check ☝️ Not all challenges are created equal. Differentiate between challenges you enjoy and those you dread. That way, you’ll grow your skills strategically and won’t jump into a new role misaligned with your career goals.
You’re straying from your goals
10-year plan or not, avoid drifting along without a career plan. Even if targets shift or conditions evolve, you can always course-correct along the way.
This course correction includes recognising when your current job is not taking you closer to your goals or no longer resonates with your core passions. Not being on track to attaining your dream job probably means you should get a move on, lest you end up regretting not trying.
Reality Check ☝️ Some dream jobs are just that – dreams that have a low likelihood of being realised. Consider that work and passion need not always be intertwined. People find fulfilment in different areas of their lives. Where do you find yours?
Your strengths lie elsewhere
Sometimes, the right person is placed in the wrong job. Your strength may lie in big-picture thinking, yet you’re placed in a role that requires a high degree of detail orientation. Or perhaps you really enjoy building relationships with customers, but you’re stuck in backend support. The more you understand your strengths and what drives you, the clearer you’ll be about what constitutes a good job fit in future.
Before sending in your resignation, it’s worthwhile to speak to your manager about suitable opportunities in other teams in the company, be it a lateral move or an overseas posting.
To assess your strengths, you could seek the advice of mentors for free in communities such as ADPList, or join our network of over 100,000 professionals to connect with peers who have walked similar paths.
Reality Check ☝️ Your strengths need not reside in hard skills like coding, finance or videography. They could be soft skills – e.g. being highly organised, great at connecting with people, or able to simplify complex ideas – which are transferable skills valued across industries.
You seek more flexibility
Perhaps you need a more flexible schedule to balance family commitments. Perhaps you feel less productive bound to fixed office hours. Or perhaps you’re even considering a digital nomad lifestyle of remote work while exploring the world.
Post-pandemic, flexible work arrangements are increasingly commonplace. In Singapore, more companies now offer flexible or hybrid arrangements to accommodate employees’ evolving preferences. Today, 65% of employees in the city rank flexible work hours as a top workplace perk (Workplace Benefits Preferences Survey 2023, Zoom).
Reality Check ☝️ Not all roles can accomodate flexible work arrangements. And while flexible work grants you the freedom to manage your own schedule, it may take more effort to build relationships with your co-workers than before.
Your values don’t align with company culture
As the saying goes, People quit bosses, not jobs. And it’s typically the boss that shapes workplace culture.
The classic negative example would be a toxic work environment – unfair treatment, abuse of power, emotional bullying – where the focus is on personal attacks rather than the work at hand. You may also feel emotionally unsafe due to discriminatory treatment based on your gender, ethnicity, or whether you have additional caregiving responsibilities.
In less extreme cases, it may simply be that company values have evolved over time and no longer align with yours.
Reality Check ☝️ Work culture can be hard to assess without first-hand experience. Speak to someone working in the company, or pay attention to red flags that arise during your probation period.
You want a change of environment
Gone are the days where the typical employee stays with the same company from graduation to retirement. Nowadays, professionals switch jobs more frequently to take advantage of better opportunities and maximise their earning potential, with an average tenure of two to five years.
Moving to another city and gaining international exposure is a sure way to enrich your experience and boost your career. Such moves demand flexibility in adapting to new cultures, new ways of working and new industry norms – all of which are transferable skills that hone your resilience.
Reality Check ☝️ Don’t throw all caution to the wind. Do your research about the prospective city and industry before making major life changes. Even better – pay a visit to experience the environment before taking the leap.
How to make a career transition
If you’ve decided that it is indeed time to make a transition to your next role, here are some resources that could help:
- Browse open roles by skill, industy and location at EDBI’s jobs portal
- Brush up on job search tips from a seasoned recruiter
- Learn about the various work passes in Singapore
- Join communities like Singapore Global Network to build connections across the world that could provide insider info on companies and industries, offer referrals, and open doors to new opportunities