When it’s time to make a move

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In today’s volatile job market, finance professionals are often worried about making a job move. But sometimes it’s essential, says Tim White managing partner in the private wealth practice at Kaye/Bassman International, an executive recruiting and search firm.

Whether it’s to preempt a layoff, preserve one’s sanity or guarantee a more meaningful position, you need to be able to know when it’s time to make a move.

Read the Signs

Start with the behavior of your immediate supervisor or the people influential in your division or in top-level management. If there is a noticeable change in how you are being treated or in the way that deals are handed out, you do need to be concerned. “If your bonus used to be measurable and now it seems more arbitrary, you should worry,” says White.

When to Fear Change

Of course, layoffs and cutbacks are a fear of everyone working in financial services. If your firm or bank is in the midst of large-scale layoffs, it pays to keep your resume out there, says White. But how do you prepare for the unknown?

Many times there are rounds of layoffs, and you might be able to get a sense of whether or not your division or product will be impacted. Are resources being cutback to your department? That’s a sure sign you may be affected, he adds.

The Satisfaction Factor

There are situations where you may be very secure in your position, but you simply aren’t fulfilled in the post, says Mark Gleckman, managing partner in the permanent placement divisions of The Winter, Wyman Companies, an executive staffing firm. So, how can you tell if this is just a case of the short-term doldrums or a symptom of a much larger problem? Gleckman recommends that finance professionals start by “conducting a self-assessment to evaluate your projections for career growth and fulfillment”.

Align Goals & Expectations

It’s also useful to evaluate your manager's and company's expectations of you. If your responsibilities have recently changed, and changed for the worse, it might be time to float the resume, says Gleckman. If you discover that your personal and professional goals are no longer aligned with the company’s philosophy, consider getting back on the job hunt.

The Dread Test

If you’re at a point where you are continuously watching the clock, waiting for the workday to end, that’s a sure sign that there’s time for a change. Gleckman says that your job simply shouldn’t interfere with your personal happiness. There are many other very common signs of unhappiness at work, including a drop in productivity and excessive lateness or absences. Don’t let it get to that point, Gleckman advises, unless you’re ready to commit career suicide. It’s better to simply move on to a new role, if you can.

The Value Proposition

It’s common to be unhappy at work when managers and colleagues don’t recognize your value. If this is something that can be changed or addressed by discussions with your superior or by taking on different assignments, you might be able to resolve the issue. Personal conflicts at work are another big consideration, especially when there is regular conflict or disagreement. According to Gleckman, people are happier at work when they have common values and complimentary work styles.

Consider New Horizons

Once you decide to make the move, make sure you don’t find yourself refusing to consider all of the possibilities. Many people will stay in an unsatisfying position rather than think about jumping to a different role or moving out of the area.“Revenue generators might need to consider an operational or support position,” says White at Kaye/Bassman International. If you were a part of the big bank culture in a top metro area, the move could demand you to go to a regional bank outside of the metro area.

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