If you have read recent news how many companies that have started to open up after last year’s lock down are having challenges in finding employees. This is particular true for those in the retail and restaurant businesses.
This phenomenon appears to hit many other industry as well. The reasons for not able to find people to fill the openings are myriad. But if you parse through these reasons most if not all fall into two categories: 1) self-satisfaction or self-worth and 2) higher salaries.
I am no different as I ponder the same question. I have worked professionally in several multi-national companies and I always struggled with the question, should I start venturing out and look for better opportunites? Believe it or not, this question is not easy to answer as there are many factors to consider and there are also a lot of dependencies.
I still remember vividly when I was called in the office of one of the new directors who was brought in to take over the reporting function of Citigroup Internal Audit. She told me straight in the face that I need to start looking for a new job if I stayed in the same position for 3 years. That awakening moment really made me think. That director totally disregard all the work I put in and essentially kicked me out of the door. There is good coming out of the whole event as I was able to move on and found better position outside of Citigroup.
So the question remains, should we resign and look for better opportunities after 3 years? I’ve been in my current role for 7 years now and I can tell you that I have never been unhappy nor over stressed. I believe that I am contributing positively to the company and I am valued by my peers. But the nagging question remains.
Earlier in the year I decided to reach out to my previous managers and colleagues from Andersen and Citigroup to get their opinions. And the answers I receive may surprise you.
I asked all of them the same question and all of them told me that if I’m happy with where I am there is no reason to look outside unless the aim is to obtain a higher paid position. I realized that if I get a higher paid job does not really translate to a higher satisfaction job. I knew a few people who found a better paying jobs but they feel more miserable.
My current employee, HSBC, is a great company to work for if I have to compare to my previous employers. While the bank continues to face multiple headwinds due to the economic and regulatory environments, I can honestly say that it does care for the well-being of the employees. More importantly I feel valued by my colleagues and my peers. Also the company invests heavily in providing all types of training and offer outside skills to every employees. So there is a tremendous opportunity to learn new things outside of current role.
With that being said, have you ponder the same question whether you want to look for new opportunities? The answer is if you are happy where you are, there is no reason to.
This is a good quandry – I recall one of the recruitment agents once told me – your situation is not at risk – if you want to move make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons – i.e better quality of work, a directional shift in your career or a good stepping stone. Although salary is one of the most common reasons, I do think that it fizzles out once you are at the new band. Also at the same time, if you are being treated unfairly then it is a great motivator to shift too. But I completely agree – it is never an easy decision to move, but it all comes down to the reasons I guess.