New year, new job?: Time to take stock

At the turn of the year, many companies attract visitors with attractive job advertisements.

New year, new job?: Time to take stock

At the turn of the year, many companies attract visitors with attractive job advertisements. Changing jobs alone does not automatically make you happier. When does the step make sense?

The year is almost over. One or the other likes to use this time to introspect and to formulate good resolutions for the new year. Where do I want to improve, how do I want to develop further - also professionally?

Especially at the turn of the year, there are usually many vacancies that need to be filled. According to Prof. Maike Andresen, companies are literally courting for the best talent. She teaches business administration at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg and has specialized in human resources management, among other things.

However, hasty decisions are not advisable in this situation: "If I have a lot of offers, then that often leads to less satisfaction with the current job," says Andresen. After a hasty change of employer, employees initially feel a honeymoon effect, an initial euphoria, similar to that in a new relationship: "Everything is seen particularly positively."

After a few months, however, a so-called honeymoon hangover effect often sets in: "Then reality slowly sets in and job satisfaction decreases."

Step 1: Think carefully about the situation

Before giving notice, one should first reflect on how great the dissatisfaction in the job really is and where it comes from. "We need self-reflection to stay on the right path or to find the right path again," says career coach Nelly Simonov.

"First of all, it's very easy to check your feelings on Sunday evening, so to ask yourself: How do I feel about the fact that the working week starts tomorrow?" says Simonov.

With a view to the current job situation, you can also ask yourself: "Do I want that? I look at the question on three levels: with an emphasis on wanting, so do I want this, this job, this activity? Or do I have to? ". The second step is about the ego: "Do I want that? Or does my partner want that? Are these expectations of my parents?". And finally, with an emphasis on that: "Is this the activity that fulfills me?"

Professor Andresen recommends defining personal career goals when taking stock of your career and checking to what extent you have already achieved them. In an international research project, the business scientist helped to define typical career goals: "Financial security is one thing, it means a basic need. Another is financial prosperity if you want to earn a little more."

Career goals also include a work-life balance in the sense of enough free time, learning and development opportunities, being able to make a difference, good relationships in the workplace and entrepreneurship.

Step 2: Turn the adjusting screws

Even if employees realize in reflection that they are really dissatisfied with their professional situation - it doesn't have to be a job change right away. Christiane Gerwing, coach for personality development, sees two paths that you can take. "You can try to work on yourself through different methods," she says.

Under certain circumstances, dissatisfaction in the job stems from qualities that you bring with you and that can also be fatal to a new employer. If, for example, you find that you have difficulties saying no and sometimes rejecting tasks, you can work on this in a targeted manner to reduce stress.

According to Gerwing, the second option is to change something about the specific tasks. Here it helps to know your own motives: Are you particularly driven by relationships, challenges, opportunities for influence or freedom? "When I find out how strong these motives are in me and how much I already implement them with which behavior, then I know a lot about myself," says Gerwing.

Together in the team and with the supervisor, you can see to what extent you can adapt the activities to your own motives: through more or less customer contact, for example, or a position with more freedom of action. "In English we call it career crafting or job crafting," says Maike Andresen. So asking yourself under what conditions the job would be fun and designing it accordingly.

Step 3: Changing jobs - possible at any time

And if neither work on yourself nor adjustments bring satisfaction? "If everything has already been thought through to the end, then I would say: leave this environment, this employer, and look for something new," says Nelly Simonov. According to her, you should pull the rip cord anyway after seven years at the latest without changing your position, job or salary: "Otherwise it will be too easy, the change will be all the more difficult."

However, certain times of the year - the beginning of the year, for example - are not per se better or worse. Christiane Gerwing recommends starting a new job when you feel particularly relaxed and motivated, for example after a holiday: "So that you can start the new job with good energy."

Nelly Simonov also says: "Changing a job is possible at any time and I would rather rely on optimal preparation." She advocates taking a few weeks to discuss exactly what you want, what you bring with you how you want to change and develop. "If you are optimally prepared, you are an optimal candidate. And then it doesn't matter which month."