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Your Company is Making Changes: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

If you have been with a company for a while (at least a few years or more), you’ve probably become quite comfortable working there. You probably like your boss, your co-workers (for the most part), the corporate culture and the workplace environment. You’re settled in and see a long career path there. But, what if there is suddenly a major change (or changes) creating upheaval in this peaceful scenario? Changes such as a new boss, new co-workers, new policies and new offices can occur at any time and be caused by layoffs, office moves, budget cuts, company growth, or a merger or acquisition. These changes could turn what was once a pleasurable job experience into a stressful one.

The big question for you will be whether to stay with the company or move on. To help you make the right decision, here are several factors you will want to consider:

Are you still feeling fulfilled?

Does your job still offer that once-clear career path? You want to feel like you are still learning, being challenged and growing in your job. Hopefully, the situation created by the company changes will settle down into a nice new normal. However, after waiting things out, if you aren’t foreseeing the eventual return of job satisfaction, it might be time to explore new opportunities that will provide it.

Is the company doing okay?

If the changes you’re seeing resulted from layoffs, budget cuts or a merger with or acquisition by another company, then it’s possible the company is having financial issues. You want to find out what its current direction is and whether the strategy is growth or further downsizing. Cutbacks could mean that resources and opportunities for your professional growth may be lessened or go away.

How is your relationship with your supervisor?

Company changes may pair you with a new boss or alter your relationship with your current boss as a result of his or her circumstances changing or the general workplace uncertainty that ensues. If you find your boss is placing roadblocks in your career path, or not (or no longer) supporting your growth and success, then you should consider moving on.

Is the work environment still positive and nurturing?

It’s important that you continue to feel valued and that your contributions are appreciated and respected by your superiors, team members and the company overall. Are your skills and experience still being utilized to their fullest? Do you feel in sync with the company’s new goals and values? You want to make sure your new work environment is one where you continue to thrive.

Have conflicts arisen with team members?

Changes in your team leadership, new team members or a restructuring of your team or department that shakes up the balance of personalities can impact the harmonious team dynamic you once had. Unexpected conflicts can arise that are stressful and demoralizing to all involved. You may want to allow some time for things to settle down and for people to adjust to working with one another, but if they don’t, you may need to make the tough decision to leave co-workers you enjoy to seek a more peaceful environment.

What is your gut telling you?

As a result of your company’s changed circumstances, you may realize that your job no longer aligns with your goals, needs, and aspirations. If the company’s changes are creating a sense of defeat that is diminishing the energy and passion you once had for your job, or the new situation is creating stress and anxiety that is impacting your physical health and emotional well-being, then it’s time to seriously assess whether making a move will help get you back to your old self.  

Before you make a move….

Make sure that you have tried to remedy the new situation you’ve found yourself in before quitting or starting an active search for a new job. Taking a new position somewhere else doesn’t guarantee you won’t still find issues with a supervisor, co-worker or your prospects for advancement.

Since you once enjoyed working at this company, it’s likely that you could come to enjoy it again. See if you can talk to your boss about the concerns you have, available options for more responsibility and their view on your prospects for professional growth. Reach out to your company’s HR department to find out about job opportunities in other areas of the company that may be a better fit and offer greater job satisfaction. Give your current job and employer a chance and explore ways to improve your new situation before you start looking elsewhere. But, if you realize it’s time for a fresh start, make sure to develop a job search plan that will help you land the best job for your skills, experience and career goals.

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